Monday, February 15, 2016

DIY Easy Shift Dress. Sweater Upcycle

I wonder how many women have a crotchet cardigan in their closet like I do?

I purchased one really fast one day when I needed a black sweater for work. Got to love retain dress codes. Seriously, why do retail stores like to make their works invisible by making them wear all black? I wore this sweater quite a bit for my old job and then this happened.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I still wore it even after which probably didn't help the hole much.
So I decided to save it. First I marked around the hole and under the bust with my tailors chalk.
And then I cut around it.  I failed to photograph the next steps, because after that I started to feel clueless on what I was doing-literally I didn't determine what I where I was going with this until about 20 minutes ago. I decided to go back and cut the original lattice crochet that went around the sweater and I searged it back on around the neckline. Of course if you don't have an overlock machine you could use a zig-zag stitch or an overlock stitch if you have a higher-end machine.
It looks like stitch G represented above. You may need a special foot for this stich- having never needed to use my machine for this I can't say for sure.
Next I rummaged through my bin of "To Be Upcycled" clothes and came out with this dress that I have literally had since the 90s. Yes, if the fabric is good I will hold on to something for 20 years.
I cut the top off and serged the skirt to the crotchet top.
Lastly I laced a matching ribbon through the lattice work for a corset look. Worn over my favorite black full slip and I've got a great dress that I suspect I'll be able to wear through the seasons.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Style Icon: Debbie Harry A.K.A Blondie

I recently watched CBGB in my effort to stock up on Alan Rickman since his tragic passing, and although I am not generally a fan of the Punk rock band Blondie, I was instantly struck by her in the movie.

And as it has been such a long time since I have done a style icon feature, I determined it was time I did one. Please pardon me if I am a bit rusty on this.

So one thing stood out right away when I did an image search on Debbie Harry and that was this styled top, dress, jumpsuit. She certainly loved this cut. I'm thinking there is a future DIY on this.

But the other thing that I love about her is how effortlessly sexy she is. There's nothing overtly obvious about her sex appeal and yet it is there.

There is a natural ease and grace about her that really makes her remarkable to look at.

She can be completely covered and still be so sensual. It seems to radiate from her very being.

Unlike so many style and sex icons of today, she never needed to be in your face with her breasts, legs or ass. I wish more stars today took a page from her book. To know that you can be completely outrageous without displaying every thing you've got.

Her style was timeless, classic and


Of course that doesn't mean she won't help you along if you still don't get it. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Best Valentine's Day DIYs For Him and What Not To Make

So a little over a week ago I posted 10 Truly Different Valentine's Day Gifts Ideas for the Man in Your Life  if you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend you check that out.

This week I'm going to share my tried and true DIYs that your man will actually appreciate.

I'm going to spare you some time too because there are a lot of cute DIYs out there for men that I've tried and let me tell you, while Josh appreciated the thought and effort- he didn't really care for the gift. Save yourself the trouble on the following DIY gifts when it comes to your man.

1. Stuffed Animals

Unless the man in your life is under the age of 10, don't make him a stuffed animal. He doesn't care, nor is he going to snuggle with it when you aren't around. It's going to end up in some obscure place and you're not likely to see it. 

2. Felt Fortune Cookies

I spent some stupid amount of time making these felt fortune cookies and I'm pretty sure that Josh didn't really bother to read them. And I think the cookies themselves ended up in the trash.  

3. Love Letters

I spent so much time making this beautiful little leather bound book filled with poetry I wrote throughout our relationship. Hand dyed all the paper, wrote everything in calligraphy, hand cut leather silhouettes of us etc. Don't get me wrong, Josh thought it was really cool and it's sitting in his bedside stand, but he doesn't ever read it. It's a beautiful keepsake and I'm sure it will be treasured but  in hindsight I should have just bought him a basket full of his favorite candies.

Now that we got the things that aren't worth your time DIYing for your man, let's talk about the things you should make for him.  This list will be longer, I promise.

1.  An Ice Pack

I know what you're thinking. These seems like a crazy idea- but I made one for Josh to include in his 30 presents for 30 years and he loves it. It is constantly in use, whenever he has a fever or a sore back this sucker comes out of the icebox. It's covered in a soft flannel and I hand appliqu├ęd it to look like a vintage game boy. And as you can see by his fb post above, he really appreciates this.

2.  A Heart Footprint or hand print.

I made this for Josh on our son's first Valentine's Day and it's one of those keepsakes that Josh really loves. We have it in a shadowbox, in which I am getting ready to add a small play dough heart that Matthew made Josh last month. 

3.  A Mixed CD.

A few years ago I made Josh this mixed CD with a bunch of songs from different movies we had gone to see together. He loved it and it was a nice way for us to relive some of our favorite memories together. It also got us in the mood to watch some of those movies again and that meant more time together!

4. A Box of Homemade Sweets

A few years ago I spent a day baking different treats for Josh. I made his favorite cookies: pink white chocolate macadamia nuts, red velvet cheesecake brownies, and cheesecake stuffed strawberries. It was a goodie box full of his favorites and he loved it. 

5. A Romantic Meal

You could make him his favorite breakfast in bed, or surprise him with a romantic dinner for two. One year I spent some serious time at the dollar tree picking up candles and crystals and decorating our apartment for an indoor picnic. I set out a blanket and cushions and made him a gourmet pizza and double layered chocolate coffee cake. Your guy is sure to appreciate the time you put into feeding him, especially if you like me don't ever cook.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Truly Different Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For The Man In Your Life

With 11+ years of experience of being in a relationship, I know how trying it can be to shop for a man. Honestly, could they make themselves any more difficult to buy for?  I'll admit, that ever since we had our son 3 years ago I have defiantly been slipping on getting gifts for Josh. He turned 30 right before we had our son and that was probably my last really big all out gift for him. I literally got him 30 gifts for 30 years. Some of them were small gifts like candy from his childhood, while others were  a bit more pricer, like a rare David Bowie CD that Josh had been hunting for for years, a new Bible and goodness knows what else.

But Valentine's Day has always been  pretty extra-special holiday for me. I don't know why, but I've always enjoyed going all-out on this small holiday.

Now I normally do a lot of crafty DIY Valentine's Day gifts for Josh and I will totally blog about those later. Today's post is strictly store bought gift ideas. And I promise you, you won't find most of these ideas any other blog or Valentine's Day Gift List. This is a list of tried and true gift ideas that your man will honestly love.

Now I think it's pretty important to know your man in order to shop for him, and I mean really know him. Josh is a huge fan of nostalgia- most men are, so when you consider what harkens your man back- you'll find shopping for him really easy.

1. Favorite Childhood Cartoon Box Set
I don't know why, but Josh has really taken to collecting his favorite TV cartoons over the years. It started several years back when he made me do an eBay search for Count Duckula and has since progressed from there. Now that he's a dad, these old cartoons are doubly important to him because it's something he can introduce to our son.
2. Band T-Shirt from favorite Band Album or Tour.

Josh really relates to music, and he has a whole drawer full of band t-shirts that he loves. Once he confided in me that he used to have a Zero t-shirt from the height of The Smashing Pumpkins fame that he loved. He would flip his lid if I reunited him with this shirt this Valentine's day.

3.  Hard to find CDs or Concert DVDs

A few years ago I magically stumbled upon a David Bowie album, Josh was never able to find (probably because he doesn't yet shop online like I do). It featured his favorite childhood song from David Bowie on it and he went nuts over the CD. I think it would be really cool to follow up that gift this year with Concert DVD, especially since our hopes of getting to see David Bowie live are now dashed.

4. Memorabilia or Autographs from Favorite Celebrities or Shows/Movies

Over the years I've begun a rather extensive collection of autographs for Josh. They include all of the Vampire Lestat books by Anne Rice, autographed by the author (including the most recent one), several autographed comic books, autographed movie scrips and stills. He loves these. I know if I got him a Leonard Nimoy or Sarah Brighten autograph it would really make his day. He loves getting these, especially when I take the time to frame them up and make them ready for display.

5. Tickets to see a favorite band, comedian or politician even.

We're in full swing political fever right now, and with Iowa just across the boarder, we get our pick of political figures to see- I don't doubt Josh would love it if I got him tickets to see Ted Cruz or even Trump speak. But he'd be equally ecstatic if I got him tickets to see his favorite comedian, Gabriel Iglesias AKA Fluffy. Plus with his favorite bands like NIN and The Cure gearing up for tours this summer, I really have my pick of memory making with Josh this year.

Now just to break from those items that really take a personal spin on Valentine's day. You can always chase them down with something a little less nostalgic and a little more in the line with his day-to-day life. Guys are practical creatures after all, and what better way to say "I Love You" than to get them something that they have to touch every day.

6. Phone Chargers.

I don't know why, but Josh seems to need a lot of these. He needs one at his work, at his home computer, in the car and next to our bed.  It's ridiculous! So the more phone chargers he has, the better. I found this really cool Death Star car phone charger at I think he would get a kick out of.

7. Leather iPhone Case

Recently, Josh has been going through screens on his phone like crazy. We've had to repair his iPhone at least twice now and after dropping and breaking it a 3rd time we are ready to upgrade his phone. Because of how picky he is in regards to his phone case, he has never bothered to get one in the past year. So when we upgrade his phone, I'm going to insist on a phone case. I found these really cool leather phone cases that also double duty as a wallet. I can totally see him, and a lot of other men getting good use out of one of these.

8. Favorite Beauty Products.

You probably know there are some products your man just loves! He may not be following beauty gurus on youtube like you are, but he knows what he likes. Get him the gift of his favorite every day hair products, expensive shampoos (you know as your guy get's older and starts having those male-pattern bald issues, he might find those hair growth shampoos more to his taste).  Or whatever other product you know your man will love. Josh loves the Paul Mitchell line, the tea tree shampoos and his favorite hair paste are all made by Paul Mitchell. 

9. Audiobooks

Josh doesn't read, but he loves listening to talk radio, or audio commentaries. I keep threatening him with audiobooks and I don't doubt he would actually love a good audiobook. He's currently on a Chuck Missler kick so I know any of his audiobooks would be a winner with him.

10. Mancrates

Mancrates is an amazing guy gift shop that I discovered a few months back when they e-mailed me to see if I would be interested in writing a blog post for them. I have to admit I am in love with the idea of this sight. There are so many different crates that I know Josh would love that I could have an endless amount of Holiday, Birthday and Anniversary gifts just from them alone! Here is just one of the Mancrates I have been eyeing. Josh spends 20% of our time at the grocery store staring at the spice isle and anytime he is making a big dinner he pops at the store and picks up a new spice. He would love these Mt. Rubs-More set!