Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Still Here

So I am still alive, just leading the busy life of a mom/photographer.  Blogging is fun, but man is it time consuming!  I hope to get a breather here in the next few months but in the meantime enjoy this wonderful cartoon by my favorite lady Kelly Vivanco.  She is an uber-talented artist and web comic strip writer (I think that is what you call it). Check her out at her art website and her comic strip Patches.

Friday, April 9, 2010

One Green Thing Friday

I stumbled across this video this afternoon and thought that it would make a great blog post. I have seen quite a few tutorials on making crafts from old packaging but this woman started an entire business! Its called RePlayground! and it is simply amazing. Check it out!

I am going to begin posting One Green Thing every Friday, so make sure you check back!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Upcycled Fashion Show....

Happy Easter Everyone!!!

Here is the final part of my upcycled fashion show.  I am going to be taking a short break from sewing (just for a week or two) to work on my "day job" of photography, which I LOVE but have been neglecting. When I return be prepared for a big surprise. All I will say is that I love collaborations!!! Yay!

Look #6
Dress: Thrift store find.I loved the print of the fabric but the neckline and sleeves were not flattering at all.I cut them off and raised the bustline to an empire waist.
Collar: This was created from two vintage doilies 

Look #7 
Top Left: Lace Embellished tank from Old Navy
Top Right: Yellow tank from Target
Skirt: Created simple elastic waist skirt from two grey
tee-shirts. Vintage lace trim.
Scarf/Necklacey Thing: made from thrifted charcoal tee.

Look #8
Dress: I combined a plain black ribbed tank and a swingy trapeeze top(both from ON)and attached with a wide piece of elastic.
Cardigan: this is one of my favorites from Target a few years ago. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I am now a Booty Babe and YOU should be too

If you have an Etsy shop you must join a BNR! Don't have a clue what that means do you? Here is the quick and dirty (haha, I've always wanted to say that).

BNR stands for Buy and Replace. Someone starts a BNR by listing it under promotions in the Etsy forum. Then they get a group of shops to sign up. There are several ways to go about this, and there are usually different rules. So, a list of shops gets started and they continue to promote themselves on the BNR thread in forums, under promotions. Buyers will come along and buy from someone on the list. The buyers shop then replaces the shop they purchased from, on the list. To get back on the list, you have to purchase from a shop on the list. Usually the person that started the BNR is considered to be the host and stays on the list no matter who buys from them or how much is bought. 

The BNR that I participate in is called The Booty BNR. Booty actually stands for booted, because if you don't sign in within a 24 hour period of time, you will get booted off the list. 

So get off your booty and join the fun already!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Things I'm Loving- Yellowness

I have really been drawn to yellow things lately. Yellow is an awesome color. Think of how many cool things are yellow. You have the sun, lemonade, baby chicks and all of this cool stuff I found over the weekend.  Enjoy!

Ecouterre: Grain's Colorful "Chi-Chi" Textile Necklace
I am torn between actually buying these and trying to make them myself.  They are for a good cause but I love to figure out how to make things.  

Makeitandloveit Tutorial: Girls Shirt- Pleated/Ruffles
I love this tutorial and it is super easy.  I am thinking of making a grown-up version for myself.

Freshly Picked: Elastic Waist Skirt Tutorial
This is by far the quickest I have made a skirt ever.  I found the elastic at Hancock Fabrics but you could also use the wide elastic from another skirt or even some old pajama pants.

Angelbot: Stacey Spacey- Little Big Head 

I just really like this because both of my best friends are named Stacey...

Thanks for reading. My Upcycled Fashion Show: Part 2 is coming on Wednesdays so see you then.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Upcycled Fashion Show....

I am very excited to show you my progress on upcycling my spring and summer wardrobe. I have had so much fun doing this and I have at least a million more swimming around in my head. It really does keep me up at night. I haven't been to bed before 2am for the last week. I am going to have to split this into two posts because I didn't realize how much stuff I made. Yay. So I hope you enjoy and I would love to hear feedback and comments from you. 

Look #1

Vest: thrifted from Goodwill. You might recognize it from the Tea Dyeing Tutorial.
Top: from a soft yellow tee shirt donated by my father. Since this photo was taken I have lowered the neckline just a bit.
Skirt: (sorry about the wrinkles) Target find from late last summer. I LOVE this skirt because as you can see it is so versatile. I wear it as a top as well.

Look #2

Dress: (Again sorry about the wrinkles. I do own an iron, I promise) I it got two years ago at Old Navy. I liked it but it was orginally a creamy linen color. It was pretty but it totally washed me out so I dyed it a light purple color. I cannot wait to wear this.
Shrug: Repurposed an old Target tee using a version of this tutorial posted on Cut Out and Keep
Scarfy/Necklacy thing: Made from the remnants of 3 or 4 other tee shirt projects. I saw them lying in a pile on the floor and I really liked how they looked. This is one of my favorite accessories. I have more at my Etsy shop. Come by and visit...I know, shameless plug but hey, its my blog.


Top: Upcycled tee based on a tutorial found in the book Generation T: Beyond Fashion by Megan Nicolay. It's on the front cover of the book but I modified it just a bit.
Skirt: Another Target skirt from last season that does double duty. Sweet.
Shrug: Made from thrifted tee from Goodwill. 
Necklace: Quite possibly my favorite piece of jewelry with the exception of my wedding rings. This was made by my friend Angie at Cherry and Violet. She is an awesome jewelry designer over at Etsy and I implore you to check out her stuff. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE every piece and you will too.

Look #4

Top: White tank from Target who knows when...they just seem to multiply in my closet like rabbits. I must have at least five.
Cardigan: This is one of my favorite pieces and yes, its from Target. I love the buttons especially and because its yellow...I love all things yellow.
Skirt: This was an ankle-length broomstick skirt that I got last year in the Macy's Junior department. I never have been one to wear really long skirt because I am short and I think that longs skirts make me look shorter. I was right, this skirt never looked right on me so I chopped it in half and used the bottom to make a dress for my little girl. I know I'm lame, I made a mother-daughter outfit...whatev.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for part two next week.

Check out this awesome website for all things Etsy!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

So I am on day 83 of my No New clothes resolution and so far so good. You can read about my resolution here. I have not cheated and believe it or not I haven't really wanted to. I have sworn off all unnecessary trips to Target and the mall which has helped tremendously. That being said, I am having waaaaay too much fun reviving my long hidden creativity.

I joined the ranks of stay at home/work from home mothers a little over a year ago and have found my attitude regarding fashion changing. Before I had Monkeyfeet (aka my darling child), I was really into fashion and had time in the morning to perfect my look before I set off on my day. I loved shopping and could spend hours at the mall or my favorite boutique. As I am sure most of you know that ALL CHANGED after I had Brynn. For the first year of her life and really even while I was pregnant, all I cared about was if it was comfortable, if I could nurse in it and if it could camouflage baby spit.Then suddenly, she was 14months old, I was finished nursing, I had lost "most" of the baby weight and I had more than five minutes to shower and get dressed. I started shopping again but I found that had totally lost interest. I felt out of place in even my most favorite stores. I felt too young to wear the ubiquitous "mom wear" but too old for the junior-ish styles that I was drawn too. I love Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters but since giving up my full time job and thus its full time salary I had a very limited budget to work with. So I gave up for a while totally disheartened. Then I had my epiphany-come New Years resolution and my fashion spirits were lifted. I could recreate all my favorite looks for much, much less using what I already had (eco-friendly ) and it would give me creative licence to make it my own.

So now I am hard at work on my spring/summer wardrobe and will be posting the full "collection" hopefully by the end of this week but I did want to give you a sneak peek. I am using a combination of patterns I have had for years, new patterns and surprisingly a few ideas of my very own. I have been holed up in my crafting lair (yes that's what I call it) almost every night for the last few weeks and I feel a little crazy at times. I talk to myself, cuss out my sewing machine and drink lots and lots of coffee but it is my special time and I love it.

Sneak Peek....

This was a thrift store find and man was it lame. However finding a print jersey is a coveted prize (at least to me) so I made it mine.

After a little refashioning....

Now it just needs to be warm so I can wear it. Sigh....


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Catch up or DYE: Part 1

Now that I have successfully escaped the wrath of my tonsils, I have been playing a serious game of catch- up- on- everything- that- went- all- to- hell- while- mommy- was- sick. My poor daughter is going through tv detox because that is basically all I had the energy to do with her last week. I also had to unearth the kitchen sink from all the piled up mugs of soup and tea I consumed.

On the plus side, while I was comatose on the couch, I got the chance to watch a great show on KET about some really interesting fabric dyeing techniques which inspired me to want to give it a shot. I have dyed fabric before but I did it with my usual MO of not really reading the directions and though it came out reasonably well, I would like to try it again...correctly. So I did what we all do these days and I Googled it. Whoa...fabric dyeing is most decidedly not just for Deadheads. There were so many different ways that I decided to try a few different techniques and show you how I progressed.

Tea Dyeing

Tea dyeing is a subtle way to give fabrics an aged antique look. It's also somewhat reversible since you are using a natural "staining" process. I have this great vest that I found at my favorite thrift store but it looks a little TOO new for me. The white is too bright so I think its a perfect candidate for tea dyeing.

Step 1: Prepare the tea dye
I used 6 iced tea bags to 4 cups of boiling water. Steep for 3-5 minutes and then discard tea

Step 2: Prepare the fabric/garment
Just like with regular dyeing you need to wet the garment before you dye it. Wetting it helps to more evenly distribute the color so you don't end up with splotches.

Step 3: Submerge fabric/garment
Make sure you swirl and stir the fabric around a bit to ensure even coverage.

Step 4: Rinse well

Step 5: Hang or Machine Dry (check garment label for care instructions)

Ta Da!!! So it's a subtle change but its exactly what I was looking for.

Stay tuned for next week as I explore more awesome fabric dyeing techniques.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Attack of the Killer Tonsils

So of course I get my annual bout of tonsillitis this week and it has completely flattened me. Sorry for the lack of posts. Hopefully I will feel less like the walking dead tomorrow and can do some serious updating.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Heart Legwarmers

"I'm in love, I'm love and I don't care who knows it" Buddy the Elf

The secret is out....I love leg warmers and no not the lame 80's styled ones you remember (although I did love Flashdance...a lot). Leg warmers have taken a more sophisticated turn these days. Just search leg warmers on Etsy and you will see many modern takes on this fashion accessory made popular by ballet dancers.

This winter I have been enthralled with them and I really wanted some for myself but really didn't want to spend the time knitting a pair. From my shear laziness this tutorial was born. Seriously... it took me less than 10 minutes to make them. Enjoy!

Sweatshirt to Leg Warmer Tutorial

One of the simplest ways I have found to make leg warmers is using an oversized sweatshirt. This is really, really easy and there is no sewing involved (unless you want to embellish them).

I used an extra large sweatshirt for this tutorial but that is because
I have ridiculously large calves. I would check the fit before you destroy your sweatshirt

Cut the arms off just outside of the seam. You can finish the edges or leave them raw.

Flatten them out with the seams to the back.

Trim the edges to even them out.

There you go...easy right? But wait there's more.....

I added some vintage lace doilies to make them a bit more interesting.

Other tutorials you might enjoy:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Transforming a Pair of Old Mens’ Sweaters into a Dress

I discovered this tutorial just this morning and I am so excited! I am probably going to go into my crafting lair and not come out until I have one of my own. Check it out!!!!

Transforming a Pair of Old Mens’ Sweaters into a Dress [video] : Crafting a Green World

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Accidental Resolution

The Resolution
I am not one to make New Year's resolutions. I am usually of the mindset that if you need to make a change in your life you should just do it whenever you decide its time. How many of you have pledged to lose weight, spend less money, run a marathon, be nicer to your spouse...etc only by February give up or forget altogether? I have always said resolutions were lame and I would never make one.... that is until this year but it was an accident I swear. Sometime around the end of November I stumbled across a website called The Uniform Project . I was intrigued. I was inspired. I was motivated and my life will never be the same. In a nutshell this woman pledged to wear one dress (she had 7 identical dresses made for each day of the week) for one year. It was an experiment in creativity, sustainability and in the process is drawing attention to the Akanksha Foundation in India. So far she has raised over $54,000 which has sent 152 children to school who otherwise would not be able to attend.

So you ask, what does that have to do with your resolution? Well the simple answer is I took a very hard look at my spending habits, especially when in comes to clothing and I thought if this woman can create 365 different looks from ONE dress, what could I do with all the clothes I already have? The possibilities are pretty much endless. So I decided.... I will not purchase any NEW clothing for one year. Sounds harsh but it was time for an experiment of my own.

The Rules
No new clothing may be purchased from any retail outlet.
Items may be borrowed, traded, made, reconstructed or repurposed.
Fabric maybe purchased but it must be vintage (old) or eco-friendly (i.e. hemp, bamboo)
Thrift/vintage store purchases are okay (they are an awesome cheap way to find material to work with)
Shoes, accessories and undergarments may be purchased from retail stores but I am trying to limit it to just a few times. So far I have been pretty lucky in my thrift store finds for shoes.

The Reaction
My friends smiled and nodded, my husband downright laughed at me but I was undeterred. I wanted needed this challenge, this goal, so I dusted off my sewing machine and serger that had been hibernating since well before my daughter was born (she's almost two now) and got to work. I scoured the web for ideas and came upon several awesome websites that have easy to follow tutorials and free online patterns. One is Cut Out and Keep and the other is Burda Style. Both of these offer free or low cost patterns and tutorials to create your own one of a kind style. Then I hit the mother load....I found out about Generation T by Megan Nicolay. Awesomeness! I ran out and bought both books and have been ripping up every old tee shirt I could find. My poor husband has had to forbid me from his tee shirt drawer for fear I might turn it into something else

Perfectly Upcycled
One of the best resources I have found in along this journey of sustainability and up-cycled-ness is the wealth of knowledge in my fellow bloggers. I follow several awesome blogs and I encourage you to check out my listing to the left. I love reading about their struggles and triumphs, trying the recipes and trying new sewing/art projects. These talented ladies have inspired me to start my own blog. I guess I just wanted to join the party. Perfectly Upcycled will not only chronicle my No New Clothes Resolution but all aspects of ways to recycle/upcycle clothing and accessories and to find ways to be fashionably eco-concious. I don't want to be preachy or get up on my hippy-dippy high horse. I just want to show you what I love and to maybe inspire others along the way.

Perfectly Upcycled - The Etsy Shop

I am very fortunate to be able to stay home with my daughter and I guess my day job is mommy/photographer. I started my own photography business called Littleface Photography last year and I am still working on building my client base. Photography is a very rewarding and creative process however photo editing can be very tedious. January and February are fairly slow (at least for me) in the portrait photographer's world so my resolution came at a perfect time. While I was in the midst of my creative release I thought why not take some of my creations and sell them on Etsy? What better way to get the message of sustainability across by showing folks that homemade doesn't have to look lame and in fact can look downright cool? So I started Perfectly Upcycled on Etsy which specializes in jewelry and accessories made from upcycled tee shirts, vintage material and lace, thrift store finds and whatever else I can come up with. Down the road I may introduce items made with sustainable fabrics but I am taking it slow at the moment.