Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall and Halloween in one fell...wreath?

Why, yes!

I've seen all kinds of cute yarn wreaths this year.  The argyle ones are my favorites, so I decided to make one for myself.  My mom, clever packrat crafter that she is, hung onto a wreath form for the past 20 years just for me!  Well, not really, but it did work out that way, lucky for me.

I headed to my nearest Michaels store to find some yarn and some felt to make the argyle wreath.  The selection was quite extensive.  After going back and forth, talking myself in and out of several color combinations, I ended up with these:

Real Teal would be the accent color - the Xs in the argyle design - and True Gray would be the color of the wreath itself.  To go along with those, I chose Creatology brand felt in Goldenrod and Ruby (you get an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet for 29 cents!).  I thought those colors would be pretty together.  Don't you think they work?

So I went on about my business, admiring my new wreath whenever I walked in or out of the front door.  Then, out of the blue, I stumbled upon this adorable bat wreath on Pinterest last week:
Bat wreath

I thought to myself, Hey, couldn't I just unpin the argyles from my gray yarn wreath, get some black felt for the bat and make myself a Halloween wreath too???  It's too good to be true -- I could have two for practically the price of one!  I went back to Michaels and spent another whopping 29 cents for a sheet of black felt and $1.29 for a package of red scrapbooking gems for the eyes (I didn't like the gold triangles much).  I had a perfect piece of goldenrod felt leftover from my argyle wreath, so I got out my trusty Corelle cereal bowl to draw around for the moon.  I drew the bat freeform using the picture above for reference.  Here's my version of the bat wreath:

Isn't it cute?!  It's a shame I have to wait until next Halloween to hang this wreath on the door, but until then I can console myself with my equally cute argyle wreath.  Heck, I might just go buy some pastel felt and make a spring argyle wreath too.  Somebody stop me!  :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.  I love the crisp fall air, the excitement of the kids choosing what they want to be, the chance to dress up, and - of course - the candy!!  Any excuse to eat sweets is a good day.

This year I didn't decorate quite as much as I usually do, but I did try some fun decorating projects I thought I'd share.  But first, let me introduce you to a fellow I've known for a long, long time:

My mom picked up this scarecrow pumpkin from a magazine offer in the 1970s.  He's been a part of our family and has adorned our front door for as long as I can remember.  A couple of years ago, Mom gave him to me.  He still makes me smile!

White pumpkins are one of my favorite fall trends in recent years. I decided to get one this year and paint a "mysterious" silhouette on it.

Next time, I think I'll give the pumpkin a clear coat of urethane to make it shinier.

And last but not least, for the buffet in my dining room, I brought in some little friends courtesy of Martha Stewart.

The frame is one I found at Home Goods in September of this year.

I couldn't resist giving this guy some snazzy eyes - my garnet stud earrings.

Hope you have a safe, fun, spooky and spectacular Halloween!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spruced-Up Bathroom

I took a couple of days off work last week for a much-needed mental break and to work on some things around the house.  One of the things I accomplished was sprucing up my bathroom.

I changed the globes on my light fixture from a slightly-too-feminine flared one to a more contemporary one etched in a linen-like pattern.

Also, I added two vintage-looking photos to the wall. 

These are actually cards made from prints from Alicia Bock Photography.  You can find these and lots of other beautiful prints at http://www.aliciabockgallery.com/collections/mackinac-magic.  I cut the front of each card off and Mod-Podged it onto a 6" x 6" canvas I purchased from Michaels.  They match colors in our shower curtain and give a fun pop of color to the other side of the bathroom.

That's one project down, and about 571 more to go.  :-)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Forgive my absence lately.  I was a little bit "blogged out" after completing (most of) the 21-Day Challenge.  :-)  But I'm back with some new ideas and fun things to share so I hope you'll stay tuned.

We had a little uh-oh at my house last week.  On Tuesday night, our Jack Russell Terrier, Jumpin' Jack Flash (Jack for short) came into the house after playing outside with a bloody back foot.  We couldn't see any real damage, but Bill decided to take him to the emergency animal hospital to check things out.  The vet couldn't see anything wrong either, so she prescribed some medicine for pain and antibiotics to prevent infection, wrapped up this little foot and sent him on his way.

"Please, Mom, give me an extra treat.  I've got an owie..."

We took off his bandage the next day and he was running with the other dogs like nothing ever happened.  Jack really came out ahead considering all the extra TLC he got out of the deal.  And the meat he got in order to cover up his medicine.  I'm such a pushover for that face.  Can you blame me?!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day Twenty-One: Work It!

I'm sad to see the 21-Day Challenge come to an end.  I thoroughly enjoyed participating and I think I learned a lot.  I loved finding new blogs by which to be inspired, including the hostess with the mostest, Kayla.  Thanks to all who commented and encouraged me to keep going, and thanks to my sweet friends at work who always came to my cubicle and asked, "What's the outfit for today?"  :-D

So without a specific prompt, here's what I came up with and the outfit I'm "working":

Top and Jeans:  JCPenney
Scarf:  LeMode
Belt:  Off of jeans from Kohl's
Shoes:  Payless
Earrings:  Coldwater Creek
Bracelets:  Burlington Coat Factory

I love peacocks, so I couldn't pass up this beautiful scarf!

Here are the Top 5 Things I learned from the 21-Day Challenge:

5.  I don't have to be afraid of cameras
4.  Tripods are the greatest thing since sliced bread
3.  A little encouragement goes a long way
2.  Cyberspace is full of really, *really* wonderful people!
1.  I need more belts.  ;-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day Twenty: Sunday Shoes

The first thing I thought of when I heard that this was going to be the challenge for Day 20 was this clip from the movie musical "Hello, Dolly!"  In case you don't have time to watch, here are the lyrics to the first verse of the song:

Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out
Strut down the street and have your picture took
Dressed like a dream your spirits seem to turn about
That Sunday shine is a certain sign
That you feel as fine as you look!

Once I stopped singing, I got to work putting together my outfit:

This is the *second* pair of yellow shoes I own now.  I think I may need therapy!

Top:  Cato
Belt:  Cato
Skirt:  Coldwater Creek
Shoes:  Payless
Bracelet:  Target

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day Eighteen: Statement Jewelry

This turned out to be one of my favorite challenges.  I bought this necklace at Kohl's last year and spent between $30-40 for it - *way* more than I usually would.  I loved it that much!

I wore it today with my trusty black denim jacket (my remix item - I'm done!) and a black and white dotted skirt which I could classify as a closet orphan.  I bought it at the JCPenney outlet about four years ago.  I like it but I never quite know how to wear it.

It's hard to see but it has kind of a lettuce edging on it which makes me think it should be paired with a more feminine blouse.  But with the sort of geometric print (dots are geometric, right?), it seems like it could go with something more plain.  In any case, I think it works the way I wore it today, and I'll probably wear this outfit again in the not-too-distant future.

Jacket (remix item):  Fashion Bug
Tank:  Fashion Bug
Skirt:  JCPenney
Shoes:  TJ Maxx
Necklace:  Kohl's

I'm sad to see this challenge coming to an end.  Starting next week, I'm really going to wonder what to wear every day.  Kayla, I may be calling you for some new suggestions.  ;-)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day Seventeen: Repair and Wear

This is a jacket I've had for about a year.  And for half of that time it's sat in my closet waiting for its missing button to be sewn back on.  The problem was, I had put the button in a "safe" place...and then walked off and completely forgot where that safe place was!  [Please tell me you do that too.  I don't want to be the only one!]  Well, about a week ago, I found that precious button again.  I was so excited!  This time, I left it out in the open where I could see it and be reminded that I needed to sew it back on this jacket.  I did that just in time for Kayla's Day 17 Challenge:  Repair and wear.  Hooray for me!!

See that button?  Did I do a good job or what?!

You all know me by now, so you know I love a pretty brooch!  I found this one last year at Pier 1.  It always brings me compliments.  That sure makes my day.

I couldn't resist adding my pink sapphire ring, a gift from my parents about 10 years ago.  I love its color!

And look - I wore a belt again!  Never again will I be afraid of a piece of leather with a buckle on it.  I have faced my fears and come out stronger than ever!  ;-)

Jacket:  Kohl's
Tank:  Fashion Bug
Trousers:  JCPenney
Shoes:  TJ Maxx
Brooch:  Pier 1
Belt:  Cato

Day Sixteen: Menswear Inspired

Yesterday was Day 16 of the 21-Day Challenge, and the task was to come up with an outfit that could be called menswear inspired.  I already had the perfect shoes:

And so I built from there.  A quick peek into my husband's tie collection brought me this bright idea:

I fell in love with the colors in this tie and decided to use it as a belt, then pinned on a mother-of-pearl cameo tack pin to hold it in place.  I think I've had the pin for at least 20 years.  I need to wear it more.

I thought this blouse would go great with the cameo and the bright flowers in the tie.  I also added some cute brown and pink earrings I picked up at a boutique in southern Missouri.

So here's the full outfit for your sustaining vote.

All in favor, say "Man, I feel like a woman!!" LOL!

Blouse:  TJ Maxx
Tie:  Hubby's
Pin:  Older than dirt, like me!
Bracelet:  Sears
Earrings:  ca. 2005 from boutique in MO
Trousers:  JCPenney
Shoes:  Cato ($5.99!)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day Twelve: Jazz Up Your Jeans

Sorry this is late - I work in an office where jeans aren't allowed, so I had to wait to do my post for Day 12 of Kayla's 21-Day Challenge over at Freckles in April.

Top:  TJ Maxx
Jeans:  Liz & Co. from JCPenney
Shoes:  Avenue
Necklace:  Forever 21
Bracelets:  Avenue

The "Linebacker" pose - seriously, I really *do* have a neck!

Day Fourteen: Copycat!

I love Kendi.  Her style, her smile, her teeny tiny figure.  In the words of that great philosopher, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees:  "I myself am deeply jealous."  Kendi's blog was one of the first style blogs I ever read.  I still look forward to seeing what she comes up with every day.  Here is my inspiration photo:

And here is my version:

Until I saw Kendi's outfit, I never would have thought of combining my striped tank with my magenta sweater.  And I really like the way it looks!  I'll certainly revisit this look when fall comes.  I think it would be great for a night out with friends or a date with my sweetie.

Sweater: Fashion Bug
Tank:  Cato
Jeans:  Kohl's
Shoes:  Target
Bracelets:  Silhouettes (blue/pearl), Fashion Bug (pink/gray)
Earrings:  Lane Bryant

If my neighbors ever look out their windows while I'm taking pictures, I bet they think I have lost my mind!  One of these days I'm going to scout some new locations. 

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday.  I'm off to take a nap now...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day Thirteen: Neutral with a Pop of Color

Yes, I know. I skipped Day 12 of the 21-Day Challenge. How DARE I, right? Well, fear not, dear reader, I have something up my sleeve. More on that later.

I must confess that I actually wore Day 13's outfit on Day 12. There, I said it.  (Feels good to get that off my chest!)  You see, I have these people who insist on telling me that I can't wear denim to the office. I mean, who do they think they are?!  Okay, they're my employers. I sorta rely on them for...well, everything.  I would be in a very sorry state indeed if I rebelled against their rules.  So my "Jazz Up Your Jeans" post will have to wait. Till tomorrow. :-)

If you're still with me, (1) Thank You! and (2) you've got way more patience than I do.  Here's my outfit for yesterday. Hope you like it.
Top and Shoes - TJ Maxx; Skirt - Lane Bryant
This is my kind of outfit, let me tell ya!  It's cute, it's comfy, and it's cool.  Three essential ingredients for summer-in-St. Louis style.

Just look at these cute shoes!  Can you believe I got them for $5.00?!  I love them.

I couldn't resist adding a couple of bracelets. The yellow and silver one was on clearance at Target this week. The clear/silver/black one was on clearance from J. Jill a couple of years ago. 

And just in case you want to play along, here are the outfit prompts in store for week three of the challenge:

Sunday, August 28: Copycat! Recreate an outfit you love from a catalog, blog, etc.
Monday, August 29: Try something new with your hair
Tuesday, August 30: Menswear
Wednesday, August 31: Pull something from your repair pile, fix it and wear it
Thursday, September 1: Statement jewelry
Friday, September 2: Wear something on your head
Saturday, September 3: Wear Sunday shoes
Sunday, September 4: Work it! Use all your newfound dressing confidence to put together a killer outfit that works for you!

Hope you're having a great weekend!