Sunday, February 28, 2010

letting the leopard loose


It was my housemate's 22nd birthday this weekend (and we celebrated ALL weekend long, let me tell you!) and we went out for a night on the town! I never get to wear this lovely leopard wiggle dress, since it isn't so appropriate to wear to usual fancy dressed things such as weddings or funerals, so I was more than tickled to be able to wear it out! I went all out... the wooden tiki inspired earrings, the ruby beaded necklace, a bright red flower in my hair, my AWESOME shiny red patent handbag! This was the first time I got to use this handbag! It reminds me of the interior of some awesome bad ass retro convertible. I decided to just top it off with some simple black flats, since there was a night of dancing in store. I go for comfort when it comes to dancing. We didn't end up getting to dance downtown, but we had a dance party right in our living room that was just as peachy.

We went to TGIFriday's for dinner and I got a cosmo that was poured over a cotton candy fluff! It was called the pink punk cosmo!

I also got an absurd amount of broccoli that took up more space than my steak...


This weekend was also a good opportunity for some quality house mate bonding time that I rather enjoyed. Even though we all live under the same roof we rarely get to see each other let alone all hang out.


So Julie, I hope your Birthday weekend was a wonderful way to ring in 22!

P.S... I saved this dress from a goodwill pile! It belonged to my boyfriend's little sister. When she was moving to Chicago she weeded out a lot of her clothes and left them in a pile to bag and bring to goodwill. Luckily, I am a pile raider whenever his sisters get rid of clothes and squealed with unrelenting joy when I came across this gem! It fits me perfectly, too!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blouse on the town!!


I wore my blouse out and about today while running around job applications, and it turned some heads! I am going to definitely make a couple more from this pattern, it's just lovely :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Favorite Beauty Items

One of the best parts about being a woman is all of the wonderful products we get to play with to enhance our beauty. I will admit that sometimes I envy my boyfriend when he can just hop out of bed in the morning, or emerge fresh from the shower in 5 minutes flat, and be ready for the day. I take a little (ok, a lot) more time to become how I see myself as presentable. But then I think, his morning look is the best its going to get for him, all naturale, all day, every day! (Kris, if you're reading this, I mean no offense! I love your morning look, it just wouldn't look so good on me :) ) So once I get past the whole getting out and bed and getting motivated bit, I rather enjoy sitting at my vanity and putting on a new look for the day.

I thought i'd compile a few of my favorite beauty items in hopes that one or two might become your new favorite beauty item!

First up is a wonderful blush called "Papa Don't Peach" from Too Faced cosmetics:

It gives the perfect warm glow to the cheekbone, and goes with almost any eye color I wear. There's a light shimmer, but its not to the point of sparkly. And need I even mention the packaging?

Next up is Carbon Black Lineur Intense from L'Oreal:

I actually picked this up on accident and never would have dreamed that it would be the best liquid liner i'd ever tried. I initially thought it was a pen liner, and almost returned it when I discovered it wasn't, but i'm sure glad I didn't. I gave it a whirl and now I will never be without it. Other liquid liners I've tried sweat off into my lid crease, creating a horrific black line halfway up my eyelid, or got flaky and chunky throughout the course of the day. Others with a fine brush were very hard to work with and made creating a simple cat eye quite challenging. This liner has the perfect felt tip to create a smooth thin or thick line, depending on the pressure. It's wonderfully flexible so you can get a good "flick" to the point of your cat eye. I don't usually buy drug store makeup brands, so I was shocked that this is one of the best beauty products I have ever owned.

Ok, moving onto the best face cloth IN THE WORLD! I know, that's a pretty big statement, but I truly believe it. This title belongs to the "Off Your Face" clothes from Soap and Glory:

Soap and Glory products are only available at Target in the US, but i'm there all the time so it's quite convenient. These clothes cleanse, moisturize, and tone your face without leaving a sticky dewy feeling that I have come across with other face clothes. They have a durable, yet unbelievably soft texture to the cloth that clears off your make-up without much effort or time at all. I use a mac waterproof base (paint pot in soft ochre) under my eyeshadow that won't budge with other make-up removers, but with a couple swipes of these clothes it doesn't stand a chance. With other clothes I had to sit and rub my eyes with them, or pull on my lids to get the liner off, and it really worried me that all that yanking and stretching of that delicate eye skin was going to catch up with me one day. A big plus with these clothes is that you can be gentle with these, but still get great results

Next is another Too Faced item from their Quickie Chronicles Collection. This is the Vixen Palette: 


I could only find this palette on ebay since these are limited edition palettes, but it was brand new in in sealed wrap. The pigment of these colors and the variety of ways that you can use them together really makes this a wonderful beauty piece. It is by far my most often used palette, and the colors are pretty outfit neutral. I also love how each palette has it's own little personality, and these shadows and glosses do make me feel like a little bit of a vixen ;)

Another beauty favorite of mine is CHI Silk Infusion:

This. is. amazing. I use it every time I get out of the shower, and my hair becomes so silky and sleek that I can't stop touching it! My hair gets pretty damaged from flat ironing it daily (with my CHI flatiron, naturally), icey, drying snow blasts at the bus stop, and my most recent bleaching/coloring experience, but this product makes it feel like the healthiest hair in the world. I don't really like to use products in my hair because they all seem to gum it up, weigh it down, or make it look greasy, but silk infusion does none of those things. It is undetectable in your hair after you blow dry (other than the wonderful transformation to a luscious, silky do). If you go to your local JC Penney Salon, they usually have a really cheap bundle of CHI products. I got a full size silk infusion, a travel silk infusion, and a full size thermal protector spray all for $7.99! So keep an eye peeled for this wonderful product.

Last, but certainly not least, is from my favorite cosmetics brand of all time... Benefit Cosmetics! I have many of their products, but one in particular that really stands out to me is their gloss:


I have this gloss in "Zone Out" which is the perfect gloss to put over any lipstick. It is a thicker gloss, but not overly sticky, and it lasts for a long time. It has a little bit of a gold shimmer to it that I adore. As summer approaches I will probably pick up a few more shades of this gloss to pop on.

ok, that was a long one! But I hope this peaked your interest in discovering some new products!

Bold Blouse

I present to you my version of the oh-so-popular Sencha Blouse! I made a hybrid of versions 1 and 3, using snaps with buttons sewn over them instead of buttonholes. It seemed more practical for me at the moment. And I can always change snaps to buttonholes, but not buttonholes to snaps. Here's the back:

All in all I think it turned out as I had envisioned it to. The keyhole necktie is my favorite bit. It looks so clean and finished, too!

I also did a catch stitch for the first time on the sleeves. The thread color was a bit challenging on this blouse because if I used a white thread it would be very obvious on the black, and black would stand out on white. So I chose the lesser of two evils and went with white. I tried to make my catch stitch as small as possible, but still substantial enough to hold everything in it's proper place. I think it's mission accomplished. Here you can't really see the stitch where the white is:

And here you can see it a bit where the black pattern is, but I think i'm the only one who will notice only because I know its there:

I'm going to wear it soon when I go run job applications out and about, so I'll snap some pics before I go!

P.S... this blouse is super slippery and doesn't like to stay tucked into a skirt. Does anyone have some tips on how to keep it in it's rightful place??

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blouse Bandwagon

It seems everyone is sewing the Sencha Blouse lately, and I am no exception! I had a lovely lazy evening free tonight so I got started on it. I got it cut out, marked, the tucks sewn, and the shoulder seams done. I am doing version three with the key hole tie at the neck. Here's just a little progress shot, I'll be finishing it tomorrow so I'll post completed pics then! So far I am LOVING the way this blouse is shaping up :)

(Sorry that it's a little blurry...)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Itty Bitty Stash Committee

Since I am new to the world of sewing, I don't have much of a fabric stash, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to share what little I have!

I really like cotton prints because I can use them to make light and airy summer dresses, and I can wear a long sleeve top underneath them in the winter without a terrible amount of bulk. I am a big fan of a fun thermal shirt, tights, and a cute summer dress in the dead of winter, and I live in Michigan where we get a true winter, so I need a little print and color in my life when everything is white and brown.

I am most excited about this first one. My lovely boyfriend purchased it for me for Valentine's Day! I keep checking the mailbox feverishly, as I have the perfect pattern waiting so patiently for it. I feel like tomorrow will be the day it will arrive, which is perfect because I have decided to dedicate a good chunk of the day to sewing. It's called "Owl by myself" by Michael Miller. Goodness he has cute designs.

Okay, okay, so not much color to it, but those little owl eyes will just pop so brilliantly! The pattern is just sparse enough to be appropriate for a little summer dress.

The next one I found on a clearance table at a locally owned craft shop. It was love at first sight! I have been looking for a unique pattern to make a tiki dress, and all I could seem to find were things with palm trees or surf boards on them. These didn't suite me. This one has so many great elements to it!

Kris and I are planning a little trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota over our Spring Break to visit Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge, so I'm hoping to have this made up by then.

Also on the Clearance table was this amazingly soft mango print that just caught my eye. It has a vintagey feel to it, don't you think?

I went to Field's yesterday to pick up some notions and to browse at the new spring patterns, and this other Michael Miller number caught my eye. I saw it online a while ago and loved it, but never expected to find it in a store. I'm starting to brew some ideas for these little love birds.

This last print I have had since before I began sewing. In my bedroom at my parents there is a large window that looks into our breezeway that was added after the house was built. For insulation and decorative purposes, fabric is stretched across and pinned to foam insulation and then fitted into the window sill on the breezeway side, so the view from my room is a lovely decorative pane that I can change at a whim. This fabric was for one such whim, but clashed horribly with my wall color. I later chose this Alexander Henry one and it really adds a lot of charm to my room.

I have just a couple other apparel fabrics, but they aren't too exciting. I have a black and white speckled dress pant fabric and a silky light gold blend with black vines and leaves on it which will be used for the Sencha Blouse.

Hopefully I will have something exciting for you soon!

Ruby Bliss

Just a little hair update, mostly for my mother :)

Within two washes, the fire red that was in my hair was almost completely gone and left in its wake a weird rust/orange/pink color. It was so strange looking... something had to be done. I was home for Valentine's Day this past weekend so I stopped in to see my stylist there, and he gave me a wonderful color called Sangria that would tide me over until I could get an appointment with him while I'm home for Spring Break. So Monday afternoon I applied the color, and a rather scary shower cap, and proceeded to wash the floors and vacuum the rugs for a good hour while the color settled in. I went to open the blinds and was fussing and yanking with the chord (all the while cursing with furrowed brows and the god awful shower cap on) only to realize that my neighbor was outside about 15 feet away from the window smoking a cigarette and staring at me like I was a creature from a strange (and highly unfashionable) planet. My housemate and I went to dinner later where I told her the story, of course acting out every bit of it, making big yanking motions and the whole bit, and talking about how scruffy our neighbor was, when her eyes suddenly darted behind me... and of course there he was, also eating dinner! I slowly turned around, horrified, and then my housemate and I burst into such uncontrollable laughter we had to leave! But at least he saw that I had beautiful hair ;)

So anywho, I have pretty ruby sangria hair now. This picture doesn't really do it justice, its still vivaciously red.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My hair is on fire!

Ok so, where do I begin...

I got a hair cut and color today. It has been a very long time since I have had either, so I thought it was time; my hair was beginning to look quite drab I found a cute little rockabilly retro hair salon called Moxie, which I didn't expect to find in Grand Rapids, but was very excited about! And my hairdresser was wonderful! She had lovely blonde Marilyn Monroe hair in short, luscious curls, cat-eye glasses, and colorful tattoos. She seemed very professional, too. I wanted an all-over color of a dark, vivid ruby red, something very different from my black/brown. I found the perfect shade in the color book and explained to Caroline what I wanted. She said that she didn't recommend doing what I wanted to do, because she would have to bleach my entire head, and that rather she would bleach and color red highlights throughout that would give a similar effect. I was a little deflated, but agreed. She foiled and bleached sections of my hair and I sat and processed for what seemed like an eternity (which it was, I was there for almost 6 hours!) and then she washed it and gave me a complimentary conditioning treatment, and then moved onto the ruby hue. She started to do some of the bleached spots with it, but I noticed her keep nervously opening the foils and staring at them... then finally she said what I'd been dreading... the color wasn't processing correctly. Apparently it was a brand new color that the salon had gotten an amazing deal on, so it must have gone bad or something. She said if worse came to worse that she would just use the FX red on me, but that it is crazy vibrant, and of course worse came to worse. I wanted like a rich ruby red, and I got firetruck red-orange. I also wanted it to look like an all-over color, and I have VERY distinctive chunks that I am really not fond of. It makes me look 5 years younger. After all these disappointments I still loved the salon and the stylist. She tried her hardest and really put a lot of time and effort into my hair, I just had a big order to fill and she had to get creative after the color I chose failed. She also gave me an AMAZING deal... I spent 6 hours in the chair with a bleach, red foil, conditioning treatment, and a cut, and she only charged me $60 total and gave me a coupon for 30% off any service for next time. I could tell she felt awful about the color malfunction and it was out of her control. I might just buy a boxed burgundy dye and try that on top of everything in my hair... I'm thinking it would "ruby up" the orangy-red and give a nice over-all dark red to the rest of my hair to make it look a little more uniform and cohesive. Has anyone had any experience with this? If I put more color on my hair will it all work out or will it fall out??

Here's the before:

And here's the after:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simplicity design contest- my drawing woes

What a cruel joke it was to be graced with a creative and ever-working mind, but to have no way to communicate it to paper. I have so many good ideas and beautiful things that I envision, but lack the neccessary (well, any really...) drawing skills to get it down for the rest of the world to see. There is a wonderful design contest going on by simplicity that I would love to get in on. I have a few of the project runway patterns that they have put out, and there really isn't much to them. I think it would be a piece of cake to design something for the collection. All I'd have to do is enter a submission inspired by project runway, which I think I could easily do. I always have ideas swimming around, so if only I could easily catch one and play with it on paper, see it come to life a bit. I'm going to try and take a drawing class this summer at my university, but you have to be an art and design major in order to enroll in them, even the intro level ones, so we'll see if I can give the puppy eyes to a professor and weasel my way in.