04.14.08 {taking a break}

[ this has nothing to do with dresses–well not really; except these are the latest additions to the inspiration notebook! ]

The weekend is over already–I can’t believe it’s flown by. And my goodness–it’s already the middle of April! Thankfully, I did get a lot done on my research paper over the weekend; it was something I wasn’t looking forward to doing, if only because the topic was one I didn’t feel I had a good handle on. Happily I finished it by late yesterday and have handed it off to The Editor (aka my younger sister–she’s a real whiz at proofreading/editing!).

In the midst of being stuck for a few hours on the last page (why is it always the last one that is the hardest?!), I too a little time off to refocus and bring some clarity to my words. A few evenings ago, I struck upon the idea of refashioning this recent thrift find:

04.14.08 {before my scissors got to it!}

Its a very bright, vintage robe! I found it a couple weeks ago while thrifting, and was quite smitten with the shades of pink (it reminds me of the gorgeous azalea blossoms that are due to pop out all over the yards here in a few weeks!). I don’t use robes, however, so it was going to be one of those “pretty” things that just takes up space. Which right now is at a premium (you don’t want to know how packed my closet is!! hehe!). So, I thought, why not make a dress out of it?

04.14.08 {rasberry pink}

The end result isn’t that radical of a change, but I think makes for a very fun evening frock. I basically snipped off 15” from the hem, turned it up 2-¼” and hand hemmed it (the thing that took the longest… but looks very nice!). I added a snap to the cross-over so it stays snugly in place. The sleeve I trimmed down to elbow length and reattached the original cuffs. Quick and easy!

Lately I’ve been feeling quite guilty about simply not having the time to sew from scratch (aka a length of yardage, a sewing pattern–you know, actually cutting out a pattern and constructing it from the flat pieces! lol!). But as my mom said: why sew from scratch when you can refashion successfully?! Hmm… sounds like good sense to me!

Finally, here is today’s Vintage Monday image!! I’ve lately been on a 1950’s kick–full skirts, cinched waist, trawling through Ebay trying to find the “perfect” 50’s summer frock! hehe! I love all the details on these; simple yet elegant. Enjoy.

04.14.08 {50's fun!}

Cheers!

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04.11.08 {pretty ladies | one}

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my polka dot dress! Your sweetness made me blush so!

Yesterday I stumbled upon the very fun Muxtape site (via Gala’s recommendation). Let’s just say I’ve probably spent more time poking around other people’s play lists than I probably should–being the music fiend I am! hehe! I’m also in the midst of writing a rather long research paper, which always makes me crave playing music constantly. So, in the spirit of sharing and discovering new music, I’ve created a little play list of my favorite low-key, “study” tunes for you today!! sometimes rainbow: a picture (I know… I stink at titles… lol!).

04.11.08 {pretty ladies | two}

Oh, and as a side note to all Creative Cacophony participants: I sent you emails yesterday with your partner’s information!! Hurrah!! I simply can’t wait to put together a smashup of my favorite tunes and send it off!

 inspiring living ideas [ via ]
 I want one in a “big girl” size!
 gorgeous floral images…
 amazing compilation of interior spaces
 love the organic form’s of Rachel’s artwork [ via ]
 colorful inspiration board

That’s all for this week! I hope you all have a simply lovely weekend!! I’m planning on pretty much staying planted in front of my laptop–until that paper is done!

Cheers!

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p.s. I realize these photos have absolutely nothing to do with this post! But they were so pretty, and make up for my lack of interesting photography today. lol!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | one}

Its taken me a bit longer than I anticipated to finish this dress, mostly because I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a ruffle at the hem or not! And then I had to figure out what kind of trim? Sheer cotton voile, lace, or eyelet? *sigh* I can be such a picky-picky gal sometimes! hehe! In the end, I didn’t like the cotton ruffle, and haven’t really found any lace in my stash that goes well with the dress, so I left the hem bare (for now…). Instead my trusty, vintage petticoat will suffice to add some frill!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | original full length}

[ the original…

What started out as a rather dowdy, vintage Lanz dress I plucked from the rack a few weeks ago at a thrift store, had to be reworked! I fell in love with the whimsical sailor collar and bright polka dots (I have quite a collection of red polka dot frocks; I think this is my third or fourth!). But not the length, or the sleeves that hit at the wrong point of my arms (who ever thought it was a good idea to have sleeves that stopped right above the elbow?!), or the very high neckline (even for me).

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | two}

Out came my trusty Gingher scissors and quick as lighting the hem was shortened, the sleeves removed, and neckline lowered! I rebound the armholes with pieces leftover from the hem reduction (lol!), and added a piece of vintage eyelet salvaged (from the ever-trusty 60’s lace dress) to the neckline. I love how fun and happy the dress looks!! Now that the weather is (finally) starting to cooperate and act springish, it quite matches my mood!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | three}

I admit, the whole look was somewhat inspired by the lovely lithograph posters of 19th century artist Jules Cherét. Th brightness and exuberance really struck a cord with me and this dress!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | four}

So, let’s see, this is my fourth refashion this year, I believe? (I’ve lost count… bad me!) As part of my “year without mass-retail” experiment, I’m quite delighted with how these restraints on what I can and can’t purchase is pushing the creativity envelope! Somehow, I don’t feel as… encumbered by the offerings of the stores and what the going “look” is. I’m much more excited to strike out on my own–so abstaining from purchases of a clothing-nature (at least at the mall–no one said anything about thrifting! hehe!) has been a bit easier. I even find that because I’m not allowed to go to the mall to shop, I actually shop less; its no longer quite the recreational activity it used to be. So in turn I’m consuming less, and spending less. Even with my thrifting I’ve become pickier: if I can’t foresee using a garment as-is, or being able to easily refashion it, then I put it back on the rack!

04.09.08 {the polka dot frock | five}

Anyway, I’m off to do some work and homework! I’ve been busy work on websites and logos, and all manner of fun graphic designs lately! (As well as some top-secret personal projects… look for a debut in a month or so!) Oh yes, and enjoying this sunny day! I want to thank you so much for your sweet comments and emails of late–I’m so tickled that you enjoy my silly ramblings! hehe!

I hope you all are having a lovely day wherever you are!

Cheers!

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04.07.08 {a sweet little piece}

How are you all, my friends? I hope you had a delightful, relaxing weekend! Saturday was spent busily doing some work on several graphic design jobs and homework (math mostly… nasty stuff…). But Sunday was quite the opposite! I met a blog friend! I admit, I was a bit nervous (as I always am in such situations!), but Kate and I had a marvelous time. We were angling to do some flea marketing, but alas, the weather conspired against us, and it was pouring rain when we met up. Despite the weather, there were a few stalwart souls selling their goodies, and Kate snatched up some gorgeous china, while I snagged a primitive-style crock for my mom (an “early Mother’s Day gift”… hehe!).

Instead of moping about in the rain, we grabbed some brunch, and then on to the massive Anthropologie store. I thought I was seriously had died and gone to heaven. Or worse–was going to go into serious debt (it was that tempting!). But I managed to restrain myself. I so wish I had brought my camera with me–because there were some pretty vignettes that I wanted to remember. But alas, I had accidentally left it in my car. lol. Such is the life of a scatter-brained gal!

04.07.08 {vintage monday | colorful frocks}

I have lately been doing a huge amount of reading for my Design History class. We’ve finally crossed over into the 20th century, and are powering through the early decades. I must admit, although I really love some things about earlier design (especially Art Nouveau), I am fascinated by the modern movements of the 20th century in design. Reading about such things as De Stijl, the Bauhaus, and such avant-garde artists/designers as Man Ray, quite inspires me! I’m taking many mental notes on the principles of what makes good, recognizable design, since many of these principles are still quite relavent today.

04.07.08 {vintage monday | lovely skirts}

In celebration of the modern look in the early 20th century, I thought it would be fun for this week’s Vintage Monday feature to be centered around the 1920’s (when many of these movements really took root)! Enjoy this trio of pretty frocks and other fancies… I hope you’re inspired!

04.07.08 {vintage monday | sporty + sweet}

Cheers!

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p.s. If you’re rather fond of the 1920s, be sure to check out the page of random, fashion images I have on my website!

04.05.08 {nifty thrift |

I’ve re-thought this post about a zillion times since this morning! lol. I think its because there are so many other facets, side stories, and general “interestingness” one can talk about when it comes to thrifting. But alas, I had to narrow it down because it would’ve ended up being the Post of the Century. hehe!

The best part of thrifting, in my opinion is not only the hunting for treasures, but finding something truly fun and exciting that is just nickels and dimes! Something that makes you happy, even if it seems silly to everyone else. I have lots of little collections of quite inexpensive finds I am always on the lookout for…

04.05.08 {nifty thrift |

My favorite collection is vintage laces; finding a bag of assorted laces is one of my favorite surprises! Usually they’re mixed up with some truly hideous, synthetic lace. But for a few dollars–who cares?! hehe!

I love using it about my space too; pinning it to my bulletin board, or displaying a fetching collar on an old hanger!

04.05.08 {nifty thrift |

I have many other collections, of course (I tend to be a bit of a packrat–lol!), but I think this is the collection I’m always hunting down new additions to add to while I thrift. Do you have any collections that you find yourself amassing when you thrift?

04.05.08 {nifty thrift |

This ends the week of Nifty Thrifty posts–I sure had fun! I think the best part was hearing about your thrifting stories, adventures and amazing finds! Thank you for sharing this week of thrift love with me!

Cheers!

[ email me ]

04.04.08 {nifty thrift | instant fun!}

I was going to post this one on the fifth installment of Nifty-Thrifty, but I think I’ll switch the posts, and instead do my last post of “favorite finds” tomorrow! So instead, in keeping with the usual “Inspiration Friday” linkage, I’ve gathered a bunch of links on thrifting and recycling those finds–I hope you’ll all enjoy!!

04.04.08 {nifty thrift | ornate}

 Amanda’s fantastic list of thrifting tips!
 national directory of thrift stores (great especially for finding places when you’re travelling!)
 Lorimarsha makes some really swanky refashioned clothes
 painfully hip’s “thrift stars” category–quite inspiring
 Tricia is the Queen of Thrifting (in my humble opinion! hehe!)
 a wardrobe “thrift-along”! [ via ]

Know of any good thrifty-links? Please share!

[ Read the other Nifty-Thrift posts here. ]

Cheers!

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p.s. Curious about the photos? They’re a couple little treasures I picked up this afternoon whilst thrifting! Click on the images for more…

04.04.08 {twitter}

Oh dear! I missed a day of Nifty Thrifty posts… looks like I’ll have to play “make up” tomorrow, perhaps? hehe! Anyway, I will do today’s installment later this afternoon. For now, I hope you enjoy these links to various, inspiring spots about the web I stumbled upon this week!

Oh, and I must tell you that Bead Simple is turning out to be quite a favorite book around here; I’ve finally been poking about in my stash of bits and bobbins. I unearthed a pretty wren (I think… I’m so bad with bird species!) ornament I bought after Christmas. I thought it would make a fetching necklace pendent, but I never found a necklace suited to attach it to. So yesterday evening I pulled out some chain, a few beads I scrounged from an old rummage-sale necklace, and voila! Perfectly suited to the spring weather, don’t you think?

 a thought-provoking post on the current state of fashion
 brilliant method for repairing torn tissue sewing patterns!
 inspiring interview with design-extordinaire Nubby Twiglet
 these sweet images make me smile! [ via ]
 a whole site of found snapshots [ via ]
 gorgeous artwork by Hillary Webb
 a fun way to use orphaned belt buckles!
 dreamy frocks and more…
 a variety of snazzy, easy-to-make headbands! [ via ]

I’m off to spend a day of poking around in thrift shops with my mom (we’ve been planning this for months and schedules just haven’t meshed! hehe!)!! Have a lovely Friday… stay tuned for the Nifty Thrifty post later on!

Cheers!

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