Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding



She nailed it.

Major props to Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen for making it Grace Kelly inspired, yet still appropriate for 2011.

What did you think?  Did anybody else get up at the crack of dawn to watch it live?  Did you like their relatively non-traditional (for royals, anyway) ceremony?  It rocked my socks.  And maybe I cried a little bit when they said their vows.  Such a sap, I know.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vintage Dress = Complete

Finally!  The dress is DONE and ready to roll:



To jog your memory, here's the before:


I cut off the sleeves (and could've turned them into a parachute), added some basic black trim, and took in the bodice in several places. It turned into How To Sew By Hand 101, because I never got the machine to stop making the scary WHRRRRRRR noise.

It actually wasn't that bad.  The hardest part was figuring out the design--namely how I could make the bodice fit the my tiny booblets with minimal construction (since the machine was out of commission).

But despite the snags (ha!), I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

Have you sewn anything lately?  Maybe you busted out the ol' Liquid Stitch?  I think that counts.

Post script: To read about the entire journey in detail, check out dress post #1 and dress post #2.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the Cheap: The Ring

So, there's a big trend happening now that's hard to miss:


I've always loved that ring.  Diana had great taste--she picked the stone, apparently.

I have mixed feelings about trends like this (which I'll get to in a second), but if you're in the market for a pretty Princess ring, I found some great options:


First, you have the faux, it's-okay-if-you-loose-it-because-it-was-cheap version.  Lab created sapphire and cubic zirconia in sterling silver.  $55.


Then there's the mid-range version.  The sedan of rings, if you will.  Blue and white sapphires in 10 karat gold. $299.99.


And finally, this would be going whole-hog.  A vintage ring with a natural sapphire and 16 rose-cut diamonds. $2,600.

And now for a question.  When you really like an item and wear/use it all the time, do you HATE it when it becomes a trend?

I can't really explain why, but I get all crabby when something I've been wearing for years suddenly becomes The Next Big Thing. I have several sapphire rings, and I'm kind of miffed that all of a sudden they're cool.  They're everywhere, and I'm annoyed.  Maybe because I feel like this makes mine less special?  I dunno.

Has this happened to you?  Perhaps with a different trend?  Maybe somebody can analyze my brain?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DIY: Easy Box Makeover

Once upon a time, I was gifted some boxes:


They were nice and big, perfect for storing many jewelry parts, but they didn't really go with anything else in the house.

So I made them look like this:


The full (and very easy) tutorial is over at Goat Notes today.  Ch-ch-check it out!

Have you been working on any fun projects lately?  Perhaps a mini-makeover like this one?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Guest Post: Thrift Like A Pro

Today I'm doing something brand new: a guest post!  And this couldn't come at a better time, given Thursday's table debacle.  I met fellow bargain huntress Julia through Etsy, and she's here today to share some of her best thrift store shopping tips.  Prepare to be impressed:

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Hello!  I'm Julia from Goat Notes Blog, and a big thank you to Paige for inviting me to post here today. My blog is about living life intentionally and focusing on the things that matter most to you. Today I am going to share with you how I successfully outfitted my son’s entire nursery with second-hand finds with a budget of $300. I did it through what I like to call intentional thrifting.

Completed thrift list.

To start intentional thrifting, first make a thrift-list. Your list should include exactly what you need and want, much like a grocery list. List items in descending order of importance. For example, top items on my list were a crib, a changing table, and a rocking chair. Include specifics like quantity and color/themes. Write your list on something you can easily carry with you, as it will be your guide.

Crib from yard sale: $50.

Set a budget for yourself. In my case, I was willing to spend $300 total for all items needed. Next to each item on your thrift-list write in the maximum amount you are willing to spend. Setting a maximum price will keep you focused when shopping secondhand.

Changing table from yard sale: $40.

Once your thrift-list is complete, plan a day of thrifting. My typical thrift days start with at least 3 yard sales, followed by at least two thrift stores and ending with an antique or consignment store as they tend to be pricier and better for finding specialty items. Set a start time and a finish time for your day. Takes lots of water and snacks with you.

Nightlight from antique fair: $10.

Purchasing second hand takes a lot longer to find exactly what you are looking for, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t find everything on your list in one day. Plan several thrifting days and always take your thrift-list with you. When purchasing anything secondhand for children always check recalls and safety information before purchasing any item (some phones have a recall app you can download).

Some great resources for your next thrifting extravaganza:

Local thrift stores
Local consignment stores
Antique Fairs (If you are ever in the Bay Area, check out the Alameda Pointe Antiques Faire!)

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Excellent ideas!  I've never planned a thrift day, but clearly I need to give it a shot.  Thanks to Julia for sharing her wisdom.  Anybody else have some tips that have worked for them?

Friday, April 22, 2011

What I Wore: Earth Day/Good Friday

The title is technically wrong, since I'm wearing this outfit as I type these words:


t-shirt: F21
tank: Target
scarf: unknown
jeans: F21
boots: Rack

Look at this quick turnaround.  It wouldn't be possible without a break from The Day Job, so I'd like to thank them for deciding we should all stay home today.

Hubsey still has to work, so I'll be spending the day doing super fun things like cleaning the bathroom and going to the grocery store.  If the rain stops this afternoon, I might get to clean out my car.

What are you doing today?  Anybody else using their long weekend to get stuff done?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Miscellaneous: You want me to pay WHAT?

I was at my favorite antique mall yesterday and I came across this cute table:


First of all, it goes with the condo's color scheme so I wouldn't even have to paint it.  And it would work either as a nightstand, or in our teeny kitchen as a more structured recycling area.

So I'm all excited, thinking I'm about to get a great deal... and then my joy comes to a screeching halt:


WHAT!

Riddle me this, you guys: Why are some things inexplicably overpriced?  That table is small.  It's short, and while it's hard to judge scale in a picture, it's not big in any sense of the word.  Yeah, it's really old, but it's just a re-painted side table!  Right?  It's possible that there's a gap in my antique furniture knowledge, but I'm pretty sure this is ridiculous.

Have you come across anything hideously overpriced lately?  Something you really wanted?  It's a bummer, isn't it?  What did you do?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DIY: Link Roundup

I've been on a bit of a creative streak lately.  Aside from getting my new desk set up (pictures forthcoming), I recovered some oogly boxes I had laying around, yesterday it was warm enough to spray paint so I took care of more questionable boxes I own, and today I'm putting some trim on that vintage dress I started tailoring 37 years ago.

But I'm not the only one getting a lot done.  There have been a ton of great tutorials and projects floating around the interwebs lately:


First, a complete kitchen overhaul for $1,200, including new cabinets and a dishwasher.  Snap.


Next, some worse-for-wear dining chairs were made pretty again with a little paint and fabric.  I especially dig that yellow one.


And finally, the folks over at Young House Love finished their photo hallway.  And I want it.

Have you seen any great projects lately?  Maybe you finished one yourself?  Link up in the comments so we can see your mad skills.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On the Cheap: Jane

Guess what movie we finally saw on Saturday?  I'll give you some hints: it's a period piece, Hubsey had a nice nap in the middle (and almost fell out of his chair), and it has the name Jane in the title.

Yep, Jane Eyre!

It. Was. So. Good.  They condensed the entire story (and I do mean the ENTIRE thing) into two hours.  Most versions make up some weird crap to go in the middle when Jane--spoiler!--leaves Rochester, but this one was the real deal.

Love, love, love:


A photograph of the English countryside, $18, a demure lace-collared dress, $56, an unusual grey cameo and pearl necklace, $40, and a vintage teacup, $4.

I could go on and on about how amazing it was, and that's how you adapt a book for the silver screen, and how I wish the Harry Potter people had hired this guy because it IS important to explain who the Marauders are--but you should just go see it for yourself.

Have you seen Jane?  Seen anything else lately, good or bad?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Team Love: Blue and Green

I belong to the Handmade Wedding team on Etsy (yay!), and it's time for a little preview of the lovely things you can find there.


Peacock fascinator--awesome for a wedding, but also pretty cool just to wear around--$15.  (Seriously, why did people stop wearing hats everyday?  If your bangs aren't cooperating, put on a hat.  If you can't get that curl to look right, grab a fascinator.  Easy peasy.)

Anyway, to see more blue and green items from the team, head over to my other blog.

Happy weekend!

Friday, April 15, 2011

On the Cheap: Summer Breeze

I was just telling Hubsey the other day that I needed summer dresses for work.  My usual go-to for those is Forever 21, but I was having doubts that I'd find anything appropriate (read: long enough) for the office.

So I was all worried and fretting about where I could go to look like a grownup and not spend a ton--and then the universe threw me a bone:


Thanks, Target!  I appreciate how you pre-sorted my search by dollar amount.


I love purple and I love black, so obviously I need a garment that puts them together.  Plus this is part of the "easy care, easy wear" line, which means I can put it in the dryer.  YES.  $24.99.


Look, more black!  But at least this one has polka dots, something I haven't worn in god-knows-how-long.  $24.99.


And finally, something that's a little more casual, but still cute for the offensively warm days I know are coming.  $20. (On a totally unrelated note, how funny is it that the Target website never shows the model's entire face?)

Do you have a go-to for professional summer clothing?  Any places to avoid?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gift Guide: Georgia Peach

One of my Etsy friends brought up Mother's Day this week and I was like, "What? That's far away."  But then I looked at a calendar, and no it's not.

It's May 8th, which is still three-and-a-half weeks out, but if you plan to buy anything online I'd start looking now.  (Is anybody else really paranoid about gifts arriving late?  Then again, I'm the one who does most of her Christmas shopping in October, so maybe I'm weird.)

Anyhoodle, in honor of my recent trip to Georgia, a peach-themed gift guide:


Starting top left, the estate style rhinestone earrings are $16, the "whisky business" print is a super affordable $5.50, the rose necklace is $24.50, and the floral soap is $4.50 per bar.

Have you started Mom Day shopping yet?  Maybe you plan to make something?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Miscellaneous: Launch Day

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but I woke up sick and ended up going to the doctor. For my prize I get a druggy cocktail of antibiotics, allergy pills, and ibuprofen!  However, I am feeling a lot better, so let's just pretend it's still Monday and I'm on the ball.

I recently finished Indie Business 3.0, a web course for women who run small businesses, and a bunch of us decided that yesterday would be Launch Day.  Some folks are opening their shops, other people are starting new blogs, and some ladies (like me!) are launching new product lines.



I kind of cheated and posted mine early, which, in retrospect, turned out to be just fine.

You can see my new items in the shop, and be sure you click here for the full rundown of everybody participating.  There's a HUGE variety of goodies, including photography, jewelry, baby stuff, hair accessories, wall art... Just go and see for yourself. Talent abounds.

As for the course itself, I LOVED it.  I'm one of the least business-minded people ever, so I wanted to take something that wasn't your typical fare.  The class is run by three women who all have their own small companies and I found it much easier to relate to them than any other business education thing I've tried (which was two weeks of grad school--shoot me now).  I definitely recommend it if you're looking to expand your little corner o' creativity.

Anybody else taken one of the Indie Biz courses?  Maybe some other small business class?  What'd you think?

Friday, April 8, 2011

DIY: Yes, you can move that giant desk.

I've mentioned that my dear sister is taking our hideous awesome desk.  The plan was to bring it to her in pieces this weekend when we went to visit our grandma.  Of course, to get it into pieces it had to go from this:

See?  I can be clean.

To this:

Naked desk!

To this:

Hutch on the floor!

Whew!  Then I hit a roadblock and couldn't get the desk apart, so I had to wait for Hubsey to get home from work and use his IKEA magic. Now that half of the room is empty and waiting for its new friend. I'm 90% sure we're getting the sawhorse desk, but I want to see it in person first because sometimes furniture looks more awesome online.

Have you moved any giant furniture lately?  Did you feel all buff afterwards?  Because I sure do.

Friday, April 1, 2011

On the Cheap: Giggles

Happy Friday!  To celebrate the impending weekend (and also April Fool's Day), some fun things I discovered on the interwebs this week:


RAWR!  Who needs a dinosaur skeleton print in her new studio?  That would be me. $6.99.


Taking any pictures?  Add some pirate fun into the mix. How funny would it be if you did this for your work ID photo?  Arg, matey. $30.


And finally, I appreciate that people are still making Lord of the Rings jokes 10 years later.  Because I am, too.  Mug cozy, $12.

Any big plans?  We're going to a fish fry tonight, and I'm campaigning hard for a jaunt over to the theater to see Jane Eyre.  This version looks like it's pretty loyal to the book, no?