Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A New York Minute

Even though Hubsey and I were only in New York for .03 seconds last weekend (and by that I mean about 36 hours), we still managed to cram a lot of stuff into our one full day. We took a lot of the advice given in the comments of this post, and stuck pretty close to our hotel.

It was near the Flatiron Building, so we headed that way first. I have to say, I was expecting it to be taller! Not that it's lame or anything, but it was shorter in person. Like a celebrity, I guess.

During that morning meandering, we also realized we were in this guy's neighborhood:

One of the highlights of the day was a place called Eataly. It's a combination Italian market/restaurant/snack bar. And it's huge. Basically, if it's somehow related to food in Italy, you can get it there. We didn't eat anything because we got there right after breakfast (whoops), but we did take pictures of the furniture:

Seriously, how cool is this table?

We also did some shopping. On the way to a different store we popped into Zara on a whim... and I found a blazer! The clouds parted and the angels sang! Unicorns flew across the sky! I did an impromptu photo shoot back at the hotel!

Our original destination was Pippin Vintage Jewelry, which did not disappoint. I'm slowly building a collection and specifically wanted a piece from this trip. This is my newest diamond decoy, a sneaky lab-created stone from the 1940s that's set in silver instead of gold:

Guess what? Only $32.

Did you know the buildings in New York don't have alleys between them? I'd heard that, but dismissed it until I got there and looked out the window. Everything really IS jammed together:

Anyway, aside from the no alley situation (which means everybody has to put their garbage on the sidewalk), being in NYC felt a lot like being in Chicago. The similar architecture, the distinct neighborhoods, the traffic, the crowds... It was just a bigger version of my favorite city! Chicago on steroids, if you will.

We're definitely going back. Have you done any traveling lately? Or have any trips coming up? Is there anywhere you're dying to go but haven't yet?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Dressed (mostly)

Happy Monday! Usually I don't say such a ridiculous thing, but since it's the day after the Oscars there will be a lot of fashion eye-candy to gape at. Let's go.

I have to start with Emma Stone, not just because she looks fantastic, but because I want to be her best friend. (Which isn't to say that I'm over my imaginary BFF status with Kate Middleton! I can swing both.) Her dress looked more red on camera, but I'm glad to see it's actually a dark fuchsia. It really suits her.

I don't know much about Milla Jovovich except that she was in some vampire movies that aren't Twilight or Dracula. But I do know she was at the Oscars, lookin' fabulous in retro finger waves and a beaded gown. It's probably really heavy, but so gorgeous.

Okay, we need to ignore Kelly Osborne's hair. But her dress! So flattering! It's different and VERY retro, which is perfect for Ms. O and her general throwback style. If it weren't for the washed out purple on top, this would have been my favorite of the entire night.

Tina Fey rocking a peplum! Heck, Tina Fey rocking her entire look. Apparently Carolina Herrera opted to dress only one star for the night, and she chose Tina. That makes me warm and fuzzy on the inside, because she totally could've chosen somebody more inherently glam, but instead went with the quirky fun girl. Two thumbs up for everybody involved.

Lastly, this isn't one of my favorites but I had to address it anyway:

Yes, Angelina, we all see your leg! Thank you for standing like that every second of the entire evening.

Did you watch the show? What was your favorite part? Or your favorite gown? How'd you feel about Billy Crystal hosting again? I thought he was better than James Franco and Anne Hathaway last year, but still not as good as he's been in the past. Overall, the show was only okay for me. Good thing the dresses were extra lovely to make up for it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oscar Night

The odds of this happening are pretty slim, but should I ever attend the Oscars (which are this Sunday--woo!) I've planned ahead and picked my outfit.

Oscar Night

Alexander McQueen evening gown, £2,339
Valentino bow pumps, $895
Giuseppe Zanotti clutch handbag, $1,740
Mawi gemstone drop earrings, $495
M·A·C nail lacquer, $16

It might look uber simple at first glance, but there are actually some nice details. I can't stop drooling over the dress and earrings especially. It's a shame nobody I know is hosting a black tie viewing party that includes paying for my outfit, because this would be ON.

That reminds me, the gray frock I impulse bought from Asos last week arrived yesterday. And it's WAY too big. I'm not sure what happened because I ordered based on their size chart and my measurements, but it's giant and flappy. Tragically, it's going back.

Anybody else excited for the Oscars? Any predictions? (I'm pulling for Gary Oldman, but I don't think it will happen.) Do you also ponder red carpet outfits when you need a break from your drafting homework? Ordered anything online recently that had to be sent back?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Aw, snap. Who found a dress form to use at craft shows?

My favorite thing is that it already looks fantastic--and therefore I don't have to do anything to it. It's also feather-light, which is great for my scrawny noodle arms. (So light, in fact, that I was pretending to joust with it earlier.)

If you want your own, it's from HomeGoods.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Breath of Fresh Air

It's a little crazy to think that less than a year ago, this was all the storage I needed for my shops:

These days, not so much. We did some overhauling this weekend (which included a pit stop at the Blue and Yellow Palace) and here's where things are now:


Too bad we didn't think of this sooner, because it really makes a huge difference. Now the room is more or less divided in half, instead of having my work stuff mixed in with the guest area. And I'm not normally one of those whose mood is influenced by the weather, but it's been SO NICE working by the window the last couple of days.

Here's the bed now that it's on the opposite wall:

Don't worry, I'm not going to leave the shelf all unbalanced like that. Some kind of art is going into the bare spot to even things out. Same with the other side of the room, since Marvin The Dinosaur is adding some serious height on one side:

Luckily, we have quite the collection to choose from:

This barely scratches the surface. I feel like a hoarder.

So that's how she looks for today. I'll be sure to share final pictures with you when the rest is done. Have you been making any changes around the house this holiday weekend? Or buying IKEA furniture? Who else has more art than wall space? What does your studio/office/craft room look like?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Same Song, Second Verse

Ten months ago I re-vamped my office/the guest room. And 10 months ago, this setup was perfect! Magical! Why would I ever need to change it?!

I think you know where I'm going with this.

I was trying to organize everything (again) as part of my 12 in 2012 when I realized that I couldn't unpack my craft show display because there's not anywhere to put it. Soooo... now it's in a big pile on the floor. And I obviously can't just leave it there.

After a pow-wow with the Hubs, I've decided to rearrange the furniture--the desk and bed are switching places--and get some kind of storage/standing workstation combination. Naturally, I hit up the IKEA website for ideas:

A dresser might seem like a weird choice, but something like this is exactly what I need. The drawers will provide a lot of storage, and at 38" tall, it's slightly higher than kitchen counters... and therefore perfect as a standing workstation. It's $149.

I like this one, too, and it's the right height, but I'm not sure how it would look with my sawhorse desk. It might be too different:

I'm also tossing around the idea of getting some of my beloved Expedit shelving in there, but we'll see how things look after we move the furniture. Hopefully we'll get that done tonight.

As for these lovely dressers, do you have a preference? I'm leaning toward the first one. Maybe you have some other fun storage idea I haven't thought of? How do you store your supplies?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

This dress just speaks for itself.

It's on clearance for $40... and it beckons...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Day of Love

Everyone, this is my sewing machine.

Normally, we don't get along. It likes to make elaborate thread knots and WHRRRRR noises at me when all I'm trying to do is sew up a hem. It's been a little rude.

But that was before. Before I finally remembered to ask my mother-in-law for help when she was here. And you know what? It took her about 3 seconds to find the problem. My many hours of yelling and threatening disembowelment were a waste, because apparently that's not how you fix "bobbin tension problems."

Bobbin tension?! I didn't even know that was a THING. I thought you just stuck it in there and poof! It would know what to do.

Clearly, I've been giving machines too much credit.

My constant foe!

So, yes, there are all sorts of thread tensions that need to be correct for actual sewing to happen. Now I know.

As soon as I got it working, I whipped up a little something I promised Hubsey about six months ago. He's been hanging onto the t-shirt he wore on our first date, even though it's falling apart and sporting some impressive stains. He wanted me to make it into something he could keep, so I did:

I'm not the only one who thinks the picture is funny, right?

Awwww. Even though I didn't intend to get him anything for Valentine's Day, I accidentally did anyway.

As for the sewing machine, I wouldn't say we're best friends, but we've buried the hatchet. At least for now. I do have to put more thread on the bobbin before I use it again, so we'll see how that goes...

Before I go, be sure you check out Marilyn's sweet giveaway over at Pulp Sushi! You can win these earrings from my shop, along with a handful of other fabulous things.

So, what are your plans on this Day O' Love? Anybody else reconcile with their sewing machine? Or make a sentimental pillow? Don't forget to enter that giveaway!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bundle Up!

Over the weekend, I accomplished a task I've been dreading. It wasn't anything horrible like getting wisdom teeth pulled (though I think that's in the cards, because one of them is FINALLY showing its stupid self by coming in sideways), but it was a little bittersweet.

I got a new coat!

I'm only a little sad about it because my old coat was the best coat EVER. It was the perfect charcoal gray color, the collar was huge, and it had 800 pockets. Sadly, it was also 5 years old and not that warm anymore. Apparently cheap wool wears out.

But as you can see, my new one isn't all that different. It's a lighter color and there are only two pockets, but the overall feel is very similar. Plus the fabric is a higher quality so it should go the distance. The price wasn't too shabby, either:

An extra bonus: it rang up at $117, which, if my math is right, means another 9% off. So if anybody else is in the market for a coat, Macy's has all of them on super clearance right now. And at my store at least, it wasn't too picked over yet.

Let's go in for a close-up:

I don't know the official garment-y terminology, but I love the stitching along the seams and edges. It's two lines of thread instead of one.

For those days when I don't feel like rocking a scarf, I can just button it all the way:

My bad, THIS would be all the way:

Why even make this possible, Calvin Klein?

So what'd you do this weekend? Anybody else take advantage of some wintry markdowns? Coats? Boots? Sweaters? Or marvel at the fact that we're already halfway through February? (Seriously, what's up with that?)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pinterest #16

Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? Hubsey's birthday is tomorrow (he'll be joining me in the Now We're Approaching 30 Club) and since I don't normally blog on Saturdays, I thought I'd put together a little Pinterest tribute for him today instead.

If he were a poster, he would be this one. Three of his favorite things are retro design, the color orange, and Chicago. Plus, orange and blue are Bears colors. Bonus!

Longtime readers will know that he randomly developed a love of shabby chic decor. We did track down a white end table for the living room around Christmas, but he's still campaigning for more...

Peanut butter pie? Or anything with peanut butter? Sign him up.

He read The Hunger Games a few months ago after I showed him the movie trailer and decided the story was too awesome for him to wait until March. Now he talks about "the tributes" in everyday conversation.

And finally, he's smart! His brain would be quite the tasty morsel during a zombie apocalypse (so hopefully that never happens).

So there's Hubsey in a nutshell. We're having our dinner date tonight, and tomorrow we're heading into the city for another celebration with his family. What are you up to? Anybody else celebrating this weekend?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shop Update: Waiting for Spring

Well, my two-week record of doing Pinterest projects has been broken. Part of it is because this new cold of mine has left me wiped out (there have been a lot of laying-on-the-couch breaks and watching Face Off [not the movie, it's basically Top Chef but for special effects makeup artists--very cool]). And the other part is because I've been adding some new goodies to Little White Chapel.

First, some versatile earrings featuring little ivory daisies:

An Art Deco-inspired headband with a rose in your choice of peach or ivory:

And one of my bestsellers is now officially available with an antique brass chain:

Not to be left out, Oh Nostalgia! got a few new things, too. These are definitely getting me in a springtime mood. First, some casual earrings featuring vintage neon green stones (my guess would be the last '60s for those):

And a fun yellow cocktail ring with an antique copper setting:

What have you been making lately? Anybody else adding new inventory for spring? And who else has a cold that they may have/probably did get from an 8 month old? (Dammit, immune system! You have to be better than a baby cold.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gift Guide: Non-Traditional Valentine's Day

How do you feel about Valentine's Day? Personally, I've never been a big fan. I mean, it's fine, love is obviously a good thing, but I feel like waaaaaaay too much emphasis is placed on that one day. People need to be good parters all the time, not just once a year. Thankfully Hubsey agrees with me, so we tend to do smaller, non-traditional gifts if we do gifts at all. Things like this:

First, an adorable ceramic ring holder and/or spoon rest (so versatile!) that's shaped like a pear. $6.

Terrariums have been making quite the comeback, and this smaller 5" version would be a fun addition to just about any space. $26.

Who doesn't want a robot wall hanging? Especially of such a friendly little guy. $12.

Finally, a pretty and practical gift is always a good move. I actually own this very same chevron craft show apron (thanks, Kristen!) and it's so handy. $25.

So what about you? Are you a big V-Day fan? Do you like the ultra-traditional gifts like chocolate and roses? Maybe you and your other half don't do gifts at all?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What should we do in New York?

I know I'm a day late, but did you have a good weekend? We had fun with our baby nephew and hosted our annual Super Bowl party... and somebody was kind enough to share their cold with me. Just when I thought I wasn't going to get sick this year, too. Womp, womp.

Anyway, I don't think I've mentioned this before, but sometimes the Hubs gets to travel for work. Usually it's not anywhere that calls my name (no offense, Minnesota) but this time it's different. He's heading to NYC at the end of the month and I get to go with him!

Neither of us have been before (which is strange, considering how much we travel) and we're pumped to see it. There IS the slight issue of only having about 36 hours to get our sight-seeing on, so I'm trying to figure out the Ultimate Plan.

Obviously we can't do everything, but I still want to jam as much into that one full day as possible. Do we shop? Try a bunch of restaurants? Choose a museum? We looked at tickets for Book Of Mormon right away, but they're sold out. For months. And that was our only solid idea.

So now I need some help. If you're from NYC or you've been, what do you recommend? It doesn't have to be tourist-y, it just has to be fun and/or tasty. Our hotel is near Union Square and the Flatiron district, but we're willing to spread our wings and take the subway.

If you had 36 hours in New York, what would you do?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pinterest #15

Happy Friday! It's time to let the ol' gray matter relax and look at some goodies Pinterest conjured up this week. First, the cutest darn printables I've seen in a while. Clearly they're for children, but our house is about to get an infusion of them anyway:

Look at this dresser. Nice details, right? Harking back to another time? Well, it's an IKEA hack! One of the best, I must say:

This is a pretty idea for storing your jewelry, and it would work for other small items too:

I would like a card catalog for my studio. Right now. This one would be perfect, but I think somebody's already using it:

This dress is magnificent. A bold color and a bold pattern together without looking like a clown uniform:

Hey, Ryan! Could you hang on a second? Thanks.

Finally, I'm always looking for new ideas to organize my jewelry parts and assorted office-y things. This is a fun idea (and it would mean I can buy more teacups!):

What was your favorite find on Pinterest this week? Who else watching the Super Bowl? (Just me? Okay.) Any other weekend plans? Our baby nephew is coming to down, so there will be lots of squealing and drooling. And the baby will probably do cute stuff, too.

See you Monday!