Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What I Wore: San Fran

Did you have a nice holiday weekend?  Hubsey and I extended ours and headed to San Francisco last Wednesday for an early anniversary getaway. I'll have more to share throughout the week, but first, what one wears in a city of unpredictable weather:

Hooray for full-length mirrors!

cardigan: Old Navy
t-shirt: Savers (via Gap)
jeans: F21
boots: Rack

I didn't want to feel like winter was back, so I tried to liven things up with yellow and blue. You might think the cardigan and boots are overkill in May, but folks who've been to San Fran know what I'm talking about. (Even the Hubs doubted me at first, but he ended up being really happy he brought a jacket.)

So how was your long weekend? Any traveling? Get any good deals shopping yesterday?

Monday, May 23, 2011

On the Cheap: Savers

I'm having good luck with thrift stores lately. First I got those dishes at GoodWill, and now I scored some new clothes for work.  Not from GoodWill, but from a store that just opened called Savers.

They're apparently quite the large chain, but I'd never heard of them until they showed up across the street from Target. You can see if there's a location near you right here.

Anyhoo, let's look at the goods, shall we?

Skirt Number One is, weirdly, a petite--which I think has to be a tagging error because I'm almost 5'10" and it fit me just fine. This is why you always try things on at the thrift store.

The second skirt has a fun retro feel with its cherry pattern.

Lovely yellow blouse, formerly from Gap. I would like to point out that NONE of the clothing I bought was black. Well, except for what's next, but they're not really clothing.

These black peeptoes might look familiar. I already have a pair (several years old from Target) and they're on their last legs. In fact, I should've thrown them away last year but I COULDN'T. So imagine my delight when I saw these winking at me from the shelf. Come to mama.

This is a silk scarf. Easily the deal of the day because...

...it was $2.99. Oh snap!

I also picked up a curtain panel that I'll use in my display at art shows. I can't remember the price breakdown for everything, but I do remember that my total was $39 for all six items. Not too shabby.

Is there a Savers near you? Do you love it?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mellow Yellow

I keep trying to write a post, but every time I start looking for cute things to show you, I end up on Pinterest. I start with the ooh-ing and aah-ing, and the "why don't we have a library in our house," and then all of a sudden it's 10 minutes later and Blogger is still empty and sad.

But I've gotten a grip. Thankfully.

The summery plaid bobby pins are $5, the cutest utility apron I've ever seen is $23.95, and the vintage sheet music cufflinks are $15.

I'm thinking about getting the apron for selling at craft shows. My setup now is to keep various things behind the display, but that gets a little way disorganized during busy periods. Does anybody else use a utility apron for shows? Did it make your life easier?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Web Gem: Pinterest

Are you ready to hear about the best thing ever? The thing that's both procrastination tool AND soruce of epic creativity? Maybe you're already a member, and you also spend a lot of time cruising through pictures instead of doing silly things like the laundry. Do you know what I'm talking about?


These are some of my pins. Essentially, Pinterest is a giant digital collage. You "pin" pictures that you like to create different collections, called boards.  I signed up a few weeks ago, but didn't really get into the swing of things until yesterday.

And now I'm addicted.

There's typically a waiting period of a week or two once you sign up (perhaps to keep their servers from crashing? I don't know), but you'll get in quicker with an invitation from somebody who's already a member. I have a couple of invites left so if anybody's interested, they're first-come, first-served.

Are you on Pinterest? Are you totally hooked? Feel free to link up in the comments so we can see what pretty things you've found.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On the Cheap: Map Happy

I'm going through a phase. Maps. And not the "help me, I'm lost" variety (though they are helpful), but more maps-on-stuff. Behold:

Decorative letters, reminding you to do some more traveling. $20 for both.

Paper roses that won't die when you forget to give them plant food. $7.50 for 5. (Speaking of roses, my office handed them out for Mother's Day. I got one... but I don't have any kids. And then it died right away. It's like it knew.)

Envelopes that are much more eye-catching than the white ones we use for everything. $9 for 10.

How about you? Are you map happy, too? (Ha, that rhymed.) Do you have any other mappy things at home, a print perhaps?

Monday, May 16, 2011

On the Cheap: A Very Harry Weekend

Yesterday at the grocery store, I saw a kid with a Dark Mark tattoo.  Well, I shouldn't say "kid" since he was clearly in college and an employee (at the cheese counter, in case you were wondering).  We stood there for a few minutes talking about the final installment of Harry Potter, and how we weren't ready for it to end, whatever would we DO, etc.  It was a nice bonding moment.

And then I went home and saw Tee Fury's latest shirt:

Thank you, universe.

For those unfamiliar with Tee Fury, they showcase a limited edition t-shirt everyday.  You have 24 hours to place your order, and after that they never sell the design again.  The best part?  Each shirt is only $10.

I think I'll get it. Hello, midnight movie outfit!

Have you ever gotten anything from Tee Fury? Will you be shelling out $10 with me to get Zombie Harry? Are you not ready for the series to be REALLY over, either?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I Wore: An Early Heat Wave

People from the Midwest know it gets really hot here. But not usually in May. There have been record-breaking temperatures around Chicago this week, including a steamy 94 in my neck of the woods on Monday (plus 80% humidity!).

So what's a gal to wear?

Must. Tie. Ponytail.

This is how I feel about being warm.

t-shirt: F21
skirt: Express
shoes: Kensie
necklaces: I made them

Even though I wanted to sit in front of the AC in my bathing suit, I had to put on real clothes for work. Womp, womp.

Have you been cursing enjoying this heat wave too? Wearing anything fun?

Housewares: Display Purposes

I have my first outdoor art show coming up in June, and while I'm largely unprepared (no tent, for example) I did pick up a few display items at GoodWill yesterday:

Three glasses and a white plate. I haven't decided what the plate will hold, but I'm thinking some earrings would look mighty cute dangling from those glasses. Perhaps one-of-a-kind pieces...

Anyway, I can fiddle with that later. In case you're wondering how much I cashed out for the four items above:

Boo ya. And to think, I almost went to HomeGoods instead!

Have you scored an awesome deal at GoodWill lately? Or some other thrift store? Do you also forget just how cheap stuff is there until you walk in? It's like getting a present.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On the Cheap: Silver Sandals

I'm on the prowl for a pair of silver sandals.  I had some for 4 years and I literally wore them out.  They were the best sandals EVER, and my heart broke when it was time to get new ones. Well, I should re-phrase.  I wasn't heartbroken at first, because I thought I could find something just as good.


The search would be easy if it weren't for a bizarre subset of my dress code at work: no sandals that go between the toes. Which means these and these are no longer contenders.

It's been surprisingly hard to find flat sandals that aren't flippy-floppy. In fact, these are the only pair I've found so far that might be okay:

And I'm not in love.  I didn't think finding flat, silver, strappy sandals would be like solving one of the world's great mysteries, but it is.  I've already checked Payless, DSW, Macy's, and Target...

So where am I forgetting?  Do you have an ace up your sleeve for finding awesome sandals?  Similarly, is there an item that's turning into your personal Lochness Monster?  Did you ever find it?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gift Guide: Mother's Day 2011

Before we get to the meat of the post, a warning to my fellow crafters:

If you've shopped at a Michael's store lately and paid with a credit or debit card, watch your statements carefully.  There was a security breach and our numbers are at risk.  It seems to be a Chicago-based problem but be on the lookout anyway, just in case.

Unfortunately, I got word from my bank this morning that my debit card was one of those compromised, and now I have some fraudulent charages.  Awesome.  I'll let you know how THAT goes...

Anyway, there's a holiday this weekend.  If you haven't picked anything for your mom yet, it's time to get rollin'.

The gold locket (with space for 4 pictures!) is $26, the hollow book is $40, the colorful picture frame is $14, and the navy tote bag is $29.

Happy early Mother's Day to all the moms, and watch those credit card statements!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Parade of Homes

Aside from my workspace, I haven't shown you any pictures of the condo.  I'd been hemming and hawing for a while, trying to decide if it was "ready" for the interwebs--and then I saw A Bowl Full of Lemons Parade of Homes.

That was my motivation to tie up the final loose ends.  Spray paint a few things, re-cover those boxes, get a less hideous desk in my studio... I finished all of it (by the skin of my teeth, but done is done), and now things are officially ready for your eyeballs.

And keeping with the theme of the blog, I'll tell you the great deals I got along the way.

Behold, Casa Ronchetti:

Yep, that's the paper shredder. Keepin' it real.

Let's begin with the dining room.  This "room" is immediately to your right when you walk in the front door.

Not just any Steve Miller record, that's our song!

This pitcher lives on the hutch for a pop of brightness. I scored it at GoodWill for $3.

This is the half-wall between the dining room and kitchen.   The mirror caught my eye at GoodWill because it was already the perfect blue-green color.  Gotta love a bargain you don't even have to paint.

Dishes in the sink, because that's how we roll.

Pretty typical kitchen for a condo.  Small, only one drawer (seriously, who designed that?), and not much counter space.  But I like it.  Having so little storage keeps us from buying a bunch of extra gadgets we don't really need.

Have you noticed what's missing in these first two rooms?  Windows.  This side of the unit is along the hallway.  In fact, there are only three windows in the entire place and two of them are in corners.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Aww, yeah!  Work that florescent light!  These were a wedding gift, and are really the only accessories I have room for with limited real estate.

Here's the first of the three windows... in the corner!  On the other end of that same wall you can see his friend, Mr. Air Conditioner.  There's really not much I can do about those, so let's just ignore them.

This couch is great for napping OR listening to records.

I love the typography map above said couch.  How to avoid a custom frame for a weirdly-sized print: buy a regular frame and have them cut a special mat instead.

You wouldn't think that an entertainment center from Target would take 8 hours to assemble, but it does.

Ready for a close-up: a $6 vintage clock from a garage sale, cups from Anthropologie, and art I made from scrapbook paper.

Moving on to the last room I finished:

You've seen the old workspace, but this is the much-improved version.  The yellow chair was $12 (again, it came that way so I didn't even have to paint it).   Also, how cool is my new storage cabinet?

Here's the other side of the room:

It's a triple-function space: my jewelry studio, the guest room, and a library.  Whew!

The art blocked by the nightstand lamp...

...and the rest of my books. Because I just can't say no.

So there you have it.  Aside from our bedroom and the bathroom (which are nothing to write home about--YET), this is our entire condo.  Two people and a business in 850 square feet.  I hope you enjoyed it.

The next stop on the Bowl Full of Lemons Parade of Homes comes from Nicki at The Vintage Farmhouse.  Her post will be up promptly at midnight, so be sure you click the picture below to get some shabby/French inspiration.  Preview: she has a mirror in her kitchen.  And it's awesome.

And if you want to see the parade from the beginning, start with Toni at House #1:

On the Cheap: Seeing Spots

I have a well-documented tendency to wear grey and black. It's not that I dislike color and pattern, but grey is my siren song.  It beckons.  It tempts me with promises of easy outfits and throwing all of my laundry in at the same time (which I do).

However, this weekend I stepped out of my comfort zone:

Yes, leopard print heels.  With bright pink innards!  The Hubs and I were at the outlet mall shopping for work clothes (for him, incidentally) when we walked past a store called Kensie.  I've seen the brand around before, but it's always a tad more than I want to pay.

But not at the outlet mall!  These were $30 (marked down from $50), which is how much you'd spend at Payless, anyway--and these are WAY more comfortable than all of my Payless shoes combined.

I wore them yesterday and it is indeed true love.

Have you branched out lately?  Maybe you also got some sassy shoes?