Sunday, December 27, 2009

Away to Brawley

I am going to Brawley again to sew for Keirnath's friend's wedding. I will spend three days there doing fittings and sewing like a fiend to try and complete the dresses. I will have to go back, unfortunately, since two of the bridesmaids are from out of town and I will not be able to fit them at all until a day or two before the wedding. I sincerely hope the measurements I received for them are accurate or we are in serious trouble LOL! But there is nothing I can do but hope for the best and get the other dress completely finished this week so I have no other worries. You may or may not hear from me during this time. I will bring my computer and try and upload an article or two if I can, but I am not promising anything! I really will try and get the girls to pose for pictures at least. They were pretty camera shy for the first fitting. I could barely get one girl to even disrobe to try on her gown! I told her I REALLY did need her to put it on so I could see if it fit in key places. I think she thought it was like buying things off the rack. Ummm.... no. Not even close.

I hope all of you had wonderful holiday time with your families and I look forward to coming home and spending a relaxing New Year's Eve with my husband. Just us, no parties and no stress :) Oh, but maybe a little sparkling wine, cheese and fruit to share while we ring in the new year.

Blessings to you all!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday Finds Dec 25 and Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate this holiday. I will be spending the day at my mother-in-law's house, She has Alzheimer's and this year we have been struggling to find gifts for her that she can appreciate.

Here are items like what I bought her.

For Mom
For Mom by Peldyn featuring Forever21

A nice soft layer to keep her warm as she naps in her favourite chair. Shower gel and perfume. What woman doesn't like perfume? We just have to make sure she uses a gentle hand with it :)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Yuletide to All!

Today we are celebrating Yule at my house. The morning started with gifts and lots of laughing and hot cocoa and cookies. This afternoon I will prepare a lovely roast and my children and grandchildren will gather round for dinner together. The final tradition is the lighting of the Yule log. We always toast marshmallows over it and make S'mores and sing Yule carols culminating in a rousing rendition of the Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun." I hope all of you and your families have a happy holiday as well.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

In An Instant-Review

You may all have heard that I was horribly seduced by a late night infomercial. I plead lack of sleep for this lapse! Well I received my package of In An Instant products in the mail and tried them out. So far I am underwhelmed by the results. The eye cream is a no go since I am allergic to it. The face wash is alright, but it does no better than the Aveeno foaming face wash for sensitive skin I was previously using. I tried the warming scrub and it was okay, but burned a bit. So far the firming serum seems to be the same as the same serum I was using from Boots. The tinted moisturizer is different though. I am not sure if I like it or not. It doesn't make my face oily and it has SPF which is really nice. But I don't know if it makes my skin too dark. Maybe I am just not used to that "sun-kissed" look. I will have to use it more to tell if I really like it. This may be a keeper. As for the "In An Instant" line remover itself, I don't think it made much of a difference. I checked out the ingredients and it is basically a "plastic" that temporarily fills the lines in so they are less noticeable. Seriously, it lists a vinyl copolymer. There is also caffeine that supposedly plumps the skin to even out furrows. Well, I still had frown creases between my brows and fine crepey lines under my eyes. I got some of it too close to my eyebrow and had a heck of a time getting it out! It looked like the scene in There's Something About Mary in my eyebrow! Ugh!
As you can see there really isn't a difference between these before and after shots of my face. On TV the models had such dramatic changes. I am not sure what they were using, but it wasn't the same thing I had!



Well, I will give these items a couple more tries. Maybe they need to be used more than once or twice for full effect, but I am not getting my hopes up. Heidi Klum, you have disappointed me.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Finds Dec 18th

Here is some more window shopping, this time from I was feeling in a grey and red mood. I sooo wish I could win the lottery and buy everything here!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

When the weather is grey nothing can cheer you up like a nice pop of red! Do you have something that never fails to pick you up when you are down? Do tell!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Winter weather can wreak havoc on dressing with style, but with a little forethought you can put together cute outfits that will keep you toasty warm. I know, I am lucky to live in Sunny California. But it was 38 degrees and sleeting off and on the day I wore this outfit. I was completely warm and got so many compliments throughout the day.

  • Forgo jeans in cold weather. They do not keep you warm and cold, wet cotton will just suck the warmth from your body. Hikers have a saying "cotton kills." It is true. Stick with wool, linen, silk or synthetics if possible.

  • Use layers to trap air pockets that will hold heat next to your body. By layering you can also remove a layer or two if you get too warm. The goal is to stay an even temperature and to not perspire. Perspiration makes you wet and that will make you cold.

  • Wear a hat! Most of your body heat escapes through your head. Hats are so cute and you can wear them all day long. I add adorable hairpins, flowers and bows so that I don't have to worry about hat hair, I just pin it back if I have to take my hat off.

  • Don't forget a scarf and gloves. If the wind is really blowing a scarf can be very handy to wrap around your lower face to keep the freeze off. Gloves are not just to look stylish. Buy a pair that are meant to keep the digits warm.

  • Tights and or long underwear can keep you even warmer. The super thin silk or polypropylene underwear know as a base layer can be worn under almost anything! If it keeps a skier and Winter hiker warm, it will keep you warm. Sockdreams has wool and synthetic tights that are the best for Winter. I layer with the thigh highs to look cute and for extra warmth. Try REI for base layers. I bought mine there on clearance.

  • Wool socks are awesome if you are not allergic. I love my Smartwool since they are latex free. No rashes when I wear them! They come in all weights to wear with my boots and shoes and to layer over tights.

  • Make sure you have closed shoes that can stand getting wet. Nothing is worse than wet feet. Makes you miserable and cold faster than anything. Sturdy boots and oxfords can look stylish, but still be practical. Another pair of boots is next on my list since I have only the higher heels and I need a low heel for it if snows again this year. Slipping on ice in heels sucks!

By following these tips I am sure you will be styling it out there while everyone else is wondering how you pulled it off! Just direct them here ;)

Now I am off to round up that pair of boots and maybe some more socks. You know you can never have too many pairs of socks!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crimes of Fashion or Crimes Against Each Other?

I was doing the old flipping through the channels when a show on The Style Network called "Top 40 Crimes of Fashion" caught my eye. I settled down to see what it was about and I have to say that I saw not so much fashion crimes as some hating against our fellow human being. While there were a few faux pas (Phil Spectors' hair to say the least) most of the show was centered around beautiful women in beautiful clothes being torn apart by other women with the odd man thrown in to give his two cents. It was brutal and it was unnecessary.

Beautiful Scarlett Johanssen who's outfit and eyebrows were trashed on the show. She looks gorgeous!

Why are we doing this to each other? What makes us want to tear each other down? Look at how the media has made it a crime to be "overweight" though by any other standards the women they are calling overweight would be damn near anorexic! Or if for some reason a celebrity steps out without full make-up on, as in the recent case of Geena Davis, she is said to have let herself go, and some people were even calling her an old hag! Complete poppycock I say! She is as lovely as ever. Jennifer Love Hewitt, whom has a lovely figure that many people would die for has been called fat. Umm yeah. I have a figure similar to hers and have been told by my doctor to gain weight.

Is it any wonder that some celebrities are taking drugs and staving themselves to achieve an almost unreachable goal of beauty and glamour? Is this really the message we want to impart to our daughters, to hold ourselves accountable to? I know this is not how I want to be. From now on I pledge to find the beauty in everyone and to tell them so.
Enough tearing down. Lets build up.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

One Wishlist To Bind Them All

I don't know about you, but I have wishlists scattered all over the internet. I also have a husband who is so shopping phobic that if I can get just him to shop at for his dvds and video games then I am lucky. So when it comes to birthdays and anniversaries and that biggie, Yule I am on tenterhooks as to what I am to get. I tell him about my wishlists and leave plenty of clues, but he is still clueless. Then comes the day of unwrapping and I usually get nothing that I asked for. Enter and their new Universal Wishlist button! With this new little widget I can add items from any web retailer to my wishlist. Wow! The person who thought this up deserves a Nobel Peace Prize! No more searching all over for items you have favourited, they are all in one place. People can search for your wishlist by your name or your e-mail address so it makes shopping for you a breeze! Now, I am off to add some more things to my list. After Yule is Valentine's day and my birthday, I must make sure he has a good selection to choose from!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Finds Dec. 11th

Today is a window shopping day. Being as I have to scale back my actual purchasing and what I HAVE bought is going to other people for gifts, I do not want them to see it. So here is a little bit of fun from Modcloth.

I love each of these items and if my husband chances to see this, I would be happy with any of them under the tree *grin*


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bridesmaids Skirts

Sewing my poor little fingers to the bone, I have skirts to show for it. They look so pretty!

Keirnath helped to cut them out. The fabric is a beautiful silk shantung.

Here is the vintage pattern I based the skirt off of.

You can see how close it is to the picture of the skirt the bride wants. I just have to adjust the pleats!

Keirnath shows how cute the skirt is on. Ignore the fact it needs to be pressed and hemmed!

So now I have to finish all the bodices and fit them to the girls and hem the skirts to the proper length. I will be going out to Brawley to do that next week. I will bring my laptop with me so I can upload pictures! I imagine it will be hectic, but I love being able to see Keirnath so much. I do miss her so!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Knitting Frenzy


With Yule fast approaching and money running out I decided to hand make a few gifts for friends and family. I do love the scarves that are in the stores everywhere. The cheaper ones are just that. Cheaply made and out of awful materials. The more expensive ones are so lovely, but out of my price range right now. Luckily I have a yarn stash. A very large yarn stash. My mother and grandmother both had scads of yarn and I got all of it. While I managed to sell some of it on ebay, etsy and at yard sales I have enough to keep me and my descendants knitting for years to come! I have one finished and only have another 6 to go. I plan on doing this in addition to making those 6 bridesmaids dresses I mentioned last week.

If you don't hear from me in the next few days, it is because I have been committed *grin*


Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Finds Dec 4th

Forever21 gets all my loving today. While I shopped other places they were Yule gifts so I can not show them or the people I bought them for will know what they got! Same goes for some of the awesome things I got at F21. Sorry! But I can say that for stocking stuffers, check out their clearance section. They had an amazing selection of hair goodies *grin*

Now on with the show:

Brown Coat
This is my new brown coat. I needed one to go with everything I wore that was not black or grey. At totally bargain at $48.90 I was going to spend almost $100.00 at another store. I am so glad I shopped F21 first! Notice the little floral hair pins, they have them in tons of styles and they come three pairs to a card for $5.80. You can gift them as is or break them up into single sets for stocking stuffers.

Watercolour Dress
Watercolour dress was only $7.99 on the clearance rack. The fishnet stockings $5.80 and the hairband $7.80. I can wear this dress all year round with the right layering. F21 has lots of beautiful dresses right now on the rack. Someone on my list has one wrapped up, but I won't say who :)

Dangerous Shoes
A close up of the shoes. Oh my, I have been wanting shoes like these for a while. They are similar th Louboutin's Bloody Mary Shoe, but totally affordable at $30.99.

Plum Coat
Since I had saved so much buying the brown coat when I saw the plum coat, I snatched it up. Toms was not really happy. He said I just lost any saving I would have made. But I figured I was going to spend $100.00 anyways and now I have TWO adorable coats and this one was only $45.00 so I still came out ahead! Okay so my reasoning was convoluted and Tom is probably right. I am such an impulse shopper!

Bank on It
Lastly is this red and black buffalo check top that was on clearance for $4.99 and the headband on clearance for $1.99. I feel so flashback 80's in this outfit, but in a good way!

Like I said, I got many other lovely things but they were gifts and so I can't show them. I plan on shopping some more at Forever21 for Yule gifts. They have such great deals on their clearance it is ridiculous!

Let me know where you are finding great deals!


Social Darling Frock GROSGRAIN GIVEAWAY!!!!

Another great giveaway from Grosgrain! Her blog has great tips and tricks for those of us who sew, so check it out and don't forget to enter to win this:

Social Darling Frock GROSGRAIN GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sigh, I am so in love with this dress.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Straw into Gold- To Dye For

From the Spinning Straw into Gold article I had a black skirt that was severely faded so I decided to do a little dyeing tutorial to show you how easy it is to revitalize faded clothing. You can do this on your old jeans or others things that may be discoloured.

Here is me in my newly dyed black skirt. Notice how much better it looks now>

Newly Dyed Skirt
I am ready to go out now!

Here is another tutorial if you want to try your hand at dying with onion skins. It is fun!

As mentioned in the first tutorial, save your dandelion roots because I am going to do a tutorial in a couple months on using mordants to get more than one colour out of a dye bath.

Happy dyeing!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday

For those of us who like to shop online today has been dubbed Cyber Monday. There are many good deals out there and I have a few of them to share with you!

First is at

Next is
Martinsville Emporium
(yummy soaps, shower gels and candles!)

From now until December 4th, receive free shipping on your entire purchase
at Martinsville Emporium! Use the coupon code "cybermonday" at

Tarte Cosmetics is having an awesome sale.

Shoes! Oh how I love Aldo. has free shipping on oreders over $25.00. Eh, its okay. They could have done better. has a few sales on their site. The jewelry looks interesting.

Victoria's Secret is on Sale until 12/2 so you can be a slacker :) they have a lot of disclaimers with it though. I hate that. has free shipping. Enter SHIP4FREE at checkout.

There are many other sites out there with cool sales. Tell me where you are getting deals!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friday Finds Nov. 27th

This month has just whisked by so fast! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We ate until we couldn't move and then went to sleep early so we could shop Black Friday. My poor head cold made this a rough shopping day for me, but I did it anyways. How else would Yule shopping get done?

Here are the lovely things I got online and at the stores this week. Forever21 did not fail me with many things at great prices. You will see more from them next week *grin*

Wine Top
Wine tie neck top $3.99 Forever21. A sweet retro style.

Navy Top
Navy cableknit turtleneck $3.99 Forever21. A fashion basic that I needed to fill a hole in my closet.

Bubble Dress
Bubble dress $5.99 Forever21. Yes, I am wearing a bubble hem dress. I am surprised too!

Grey Sweater
Grey sweater Take Three LLC on ebay $19.99. I wore this sweater for Thanksgiving.

New Cardi
Tan sweater Take Three LLC on ebay $24.99. Super cuddly and warm.

Out For Blood
Red belt $6.50 Forever21. It goes with so many things!

Madden Shoes
Madden Girl shoes from Ross $11.99. These are so sexy.

Dress into Skirt
Black belt $6.50 Forever21. Another great belt I will get lots of use out of.

I also bought those black leggings from Forever21 for $4.50 that I showed you in the article "Holes in My Wardrobe" I just didn't get a chance to take pics of them. I plan on wearing them with tunic sweaters and some of my dresses. Tomorrow I hope to get some sewing done and maybe a bit of dyeing. Hope you have a productive day as well!


Peppermint Stick Holiday Frock GROSGRAIN GIVEAWAY!!!!

Peppermint Stick Holiday Frock GROSGRAIN GIVEAWAY!!!!

If you haven't visited this site yet, you will really love it! Great sewing projects and giveaways. Definitely an addiction like chocolate, but a lot easier on the hips!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Too Many Irons in the Fire

*Note, This was to be posted before Thanksgiving, but I came down with a nasty head cold and didn't finish writing it because the pies took precedence. So here it is now and Friday Finds will be tomorrow.

As usual I have overextended myself. I have agreed to make 6 bridesmaids dresses for a wedding in early January. My daughter Keirnath is one of those bridesmaids. I also have a dress and a skirt to make and I still have the rest of the contents of the bin that was in the garage to finish fixing up. A lot on my plate for the next few weeks.

This is a pic of the bridesmaids dresses. Sorry it is so small, the website it is from has flash (can't copy the flash) so I have linked to the bigger flash picture, just click to see it. I finally got the measurements of all the ladies this past week so now I can start making the patterns for them.

Silk Shantung Dress

Here is the dress for me that I have cut out, view B. I had planned on wearing it for Thanksgiving, but that is not going to happen now that I have come down with a nasty cold. I am hoping to just get all the pies baked now, sigh.

I really wanted this skirt on ebay, but it went too high so I got a crazy notion in my head that I could make one myself.

I bought this yarn to crochet a picot edge on the skirt. It is not the right weight or material, being wool and I wanted cotton. But it was all my local store had so I had to compromise. My luck it will felt up the first time I wash it.

Am I nuts? Probably. I had no business taking on a wedding so late in the game. If it wasn't for Keirnath, I would have said no.
I am going to go visit my daughter for a week in early December so I can do fittings for the girls and hopefully get most of the work done on the dresses. I will go back again a week or two before the wedding to finish them up. During that time I won't be posting much, but I will try to take pictures of the progress on the dresses so you all can see.

Wish me luck!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Straw into Gold- 80's Dress Slashed!

I know the title sounds a bit scary. And I admit that what I did was a bit scary. I took an old 80's dress that had been found in a bin in the garage and that I showed to you earlier in the article "Spinning Straw into Gold" and I cut it up! As it was, it was outdated and screamed old, fusty and maybe a little dicked in the knob (an old English phrase that means not quite right in the head!) So to remake this I had to go all slasher film and cut it in half. What I ended up with was a very nice blouse and a skirt.

Dress Alteration 1
Measuring from the shoulder to the hip to make my cutting line in chalk. This line is slightly curved due to the volume at the hip. I chose 23 inches as the length. Dress is carefully folded in half to make the marking and cutting easier.

Dress Alteration 2
The cut has been made! There is no turning back now. I evened up any unevenness in the edges and made the front a little more curved upward as a design element.

The finishing now is surprisingly easy. Just a simple shirttail hem for the top. Press the edge up 1/8 of an inch twice and stitch in place. Done! For the skirt I serged the top edge and then folded it over elastic I had stitched together. So easy and done in about 10 minutes.

I am thinking I may still add elastic to the sleeves of the blouse. I haven't decided on it for sure.

Dress into Blouse
New blouse. I like it with my skinny jeans.

Dress into Skirt
New skirt. It has lots of styling options. I think it looks great with my silk skirt worn under it as a petticoat.

I can think of many other ways to wear these two new additions to my wardrobe. And to think that I was going to give this dress to Goodwill!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday Finds Nov. 20th

I swear it is totally exhausting sitting up all night and day trolling ebay and Etsy for awesome bargains. I was so tuckered out from my exertions I slept all day Friday and then of course I had to shop on Saturday. That left today for writing :)

Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending upon your view) I did not win all the auctions that I had bid on this week. I am sure that Tom would have lost his mind if I HAD won them all! I did however win this sweet little dress that originally sold at Anthropologie. It is now mine *happy sigh*

Mauve-ish Grey Dress
Maeve Dress from iheartcinnamon on ebay. $37.84. I love how I can layer it for Fall and Winter and also wear it by itself for Spring and Summer.

Another ebay winner:

Take Me Out for an Egg Cream Please.
Cashmere Sweater from dertonr on ebay. $9.99. It looks perfect with my pencil skirt.

On to Etsy.

A Hazy Shade of Winter
Navy Floral dress from Vintage Threadz. I cut the sleeves off and added elastic. I thought it made the dress more versatile. I plan on doing lots of different layering with this one.


Poppies on Snow
Berry Bush tights. Such a pretty colour and pattern. I couldn't resist, though at $18.00 I will have to be very careful with these. I think they will look pretty with the Maeve dress, don't you think?

I won a couple other things (sweaters!) that did not come in the mail yet and Tom kindly let me shop at Ross and Forever21 so I will have a very robust Friday Finds for you next week, plus I have been sewing so look for an article on Monday detailing it and possibly Wed. if I can get the dress I am working on done. Wish me luck as Tarah is also sewing a dress and needs to have it done by Thanksgiving! Nothing like the two of us fighting over resources, LOL!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dream A Little Dream

I was up late the other night and bored so I flipped through the channels on TV and a show caught my eye that said Shoes by Sam Edelman. Now I don't usually watch HSN since their clothes are not my style and the hosts just annoy me, but shoes. I would stand in the pouring down rain to see shoes. Most of the shoes were not my style but one pair of boots. Oh this one pair of absolutely, gloriously, smack down gorgeous boots came on. They were called Granny Boots and came in black or brown leather.

I fell in love with the brown. So in love that I dreamt about them. I even envisioned in my dream the outfits I would wear with those boots. Now I can not afford these boots. They are $349.00. So not in my shoestring budget. Le sigh.

I found a similar style at Clockwork Couture

They only come in black, not brown as I really want, but the price is an easy to swallow $39.95. I am going to keep looking. Somewhere out there is a similar boot in brown that wont break the bank.

Here is a look at an outfit I put together just like the one I dreamed about.

I wore a pair of high heeled platform boots I already had. They looked cute, but weren't the granny boots I wanted. Tom was appreciative of the look at least ;)


Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Finds Nov. 13th

I hope you are all having a great Friday the 13th! I know I am. So far my husband is still working. The company has not locked the miners out and the Union has not gone on strike. I have not spent much money since my husband is very worried about his job right now, but I still managed to get some very nice things. Thank goodness for Goodwill! With only $23.00 I made out like a bandit! I also hit up Target for some warm tights among other things and found a little tip for those who are in the smaller sizes. Shop in the Children's section! The price is less than half the cost of Women's and they are super cute.

So here is my haul *grin*

I Get My Inspiration From Nancy Drew
Pumpkin Spice coloured designer sweater from Goodwill in Victorville $2.37. I see this designer at Nordstrom and her stuff sells for a couple hundred bucks a piece. SCORE!

New Found Shoes
Deep Plum jacket from Goodwill. $4.62. Tarah hated this on the rack, but when I put it on she told me I had to buy it!

Ready for a Night Out
Tan silk skirt Goodwill $2.12. Black Cloche hat from Target $14.99. Jeweled belt from Target $14.99. This skirt was professionally handmade. It looks couture. The zipper is hand pricked! A quality garment that I was amazed to find and it is mine for a song *does happy dance* The cloche hat was a happy find for me since I have been wanting a nice cloche hat ever since I bought one for my daughter Keirnath. I have to admit the belt was an impulse buy. I saw it and bought it. I shouldn't have but I did it. It is totally cute though, isn't it?

Polka Dots are Forever!
Polka dotted tights from Target $4.99. I bought these in the Children's section along with a pair of cream coloured tights for $3.99. They fit fantastically and are a good value. If I put a hole in them I am not going to die like the $18.00 tights I bought at Anthropologie.

At The Barrel
Teal wool handmade skirt from Goodwill $3.07. Teal stockings from Target $12.00. This skirt was made by someone who didn't really know what they were doing but all the mistakes were fixable. I put it on the sewing machine as soon as I got it home and now it is gorgeous! The stockings turned out to be an excellent match. These were from the Women's section and they had them in a wine colour as well, but were out of my size.

Feathers in My Hair
Black and ivory pin dot ruffled blouse from Goodwill $3.62. Cute classic style that goes with almost everything in my closet.

Navy and white polka dot pleated skirt $4.04. Tarah wanted this skirt so I bought it for her but it turned out to be a vintage size not a modern size so it did not fit her. Now it is mine and I will give it a good home.

Goodwill find for Tarah
I also bought this black and white houndstooth wool pencil skirt for her, but she didn't want to pose in it for all of you. It looks totally adorable on her. Only $2.12.

The last thing I bought at Goodwill was a white dress shirt for my nephew Ian, I don't remember how much it was but it couldn't have been more than a dollar.

So while I didn't spend much money I got a vast amount of clothes and accessories. I am pretty happy about that.

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