Come on Barbie, let’s go PARTY!

It has been far too long since my last post.

I have excuses! Oodles of them. The main one being my VACATION on the high seas!

Before I get too ahead of myself, let me show you the cover-up that I made for the cruise! It turned out better than I thought. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find a striped fabric, but now I can wear it with all my bathing suits and it will match. I am noticing that all of my DIY are loosely based on your choices, not exact replicas. I hope that is okay with all of you. Maybe I need to be a little more particular….

Cover-up in Miami

I hope you like it. I really do!

Now on to the vacation part. My dear friend Barbie is getting married and to celebrate, she asked her near and dears to join her on a cruise to the Bahamas. This is her opening her gifts. I think she is pretty prepared for her wedding night!

My life size Barbie!

The cruise line we chose was Royal Caribbean and our ship was the “Majesty of the Seas.”

Just to let you in on a little secret, not only do you gain weight and get a little crazy on a cruise, but you also get the chance to meet wonderful new people. Especially people from Delaware named Bobby and Natalie. If you are reading this, thanks for letting us invade your table! We had so much fun with you!

Fuzzy drink with my man!

On one of the days, the crew ventured to Nassau. My main squeeze and I chose to separate from the group to visit the lost city of Atlantis (actually a beautiful resort) to slide down their water slides and drink their local brews. The highlight of the Atlantis adventure was this little guy:

Hello little hammerhead!

His name is Frank.

Atlantis was AMAZING!

The other highlight was the actual splendor of the resort. It was crazy/beautiful and I want to go back. Maybe for a honeymoon….

Everyone else played on the beach and had some of their own crazy adventures involving jet skis, palm trees, and boat captains. We all had a great time, but we almost didn’t make it back to the boat alive! Cab drivers in Nassau drive like the characters in “The Italian Job”, except worse. It was insane. They all drive like me!

The Bachelorette Party Crew Represent!

As if one beach wasn’t enough, the cruise docked us at Cococay, where we played in the sand and spent a sun-filled day enjoying each others company. Some of us played in the water like little kids and some of us explored the ocean floor, but we all had fun.

It was an amazing vacation, an incredible experience, and a trip to remember forever.

Loving the beach at Cococay!

I must thank our great friend Tai for being ultimate (THANK YOU!).

I must also thank Althea and Brittany for organizing the trip (DOUBLE THANK YOU!).

It was a delight to have met all of Althea’s closest friends. I look forward to seeing all of you again in May!

To all my readers… BOOK A VACATION! You deserve it 😉

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Cruisin’ Cover Up

Are you ready to vote for my next project?!?!

I want to make a cute cover-up to wear on a CRUISE! I am actually going on a cruise! I am so excited I might pee my pants!

Crisis, though. The holidays sucked the life out of my bank account, so I can’t really afford to go buy a whole new “resort” collection to wear on my vacation (who am I kidding, I couldn’t afford it before Christmas either). Plus, I need to stock up on Dramamine because I don’t want to toss anything over the boat, especially my cookies.  So, I have to figure out how to make a cute (and simple) cover-up on a tight budget (without looking too cheap) before I leave at the end of February!

This is going to be an exercise in altering a store-bought pattern. With the total tragedy that was my computer bag in mind, I have decided that this time I need to follow a pattern (for the most part) and slowly ease my way back into creating things from scratch. I am rusty and need to oil the old creative joints. Kind words of encouragement are… well… encouraged.

Here are a few little numbers that caught my fancy. Take a long, hard look. I love all three of these equally (not making that mistake again!), so go ahead and pick your favorite. If you would like, please share my little post with your friends to make the competition more fun. I would love to have the opinions of complete strangers who I can convert to friends.

Cruisin' Cover-Up Options

To vote, please use this handy-dandy Poll thingy that I finally figured out!

[Poll Removed, lovelies! See next post for winner!]

Please cast your vote by Friday January 28th at Midnight. I will post the winner Saturday. I am so excited to see which one wins!

If you would like to purchase the real deals, here are their locations:  1 is the Gypsy Coin Dress @Poetrie, 2 is the Asylum Dress @One Teaspoon, and 3 is the Team Mod Mini @ModCloth.

The Bag Phantom

I have a terrible secret.

I did not want this particular bag to win. I had another lover, one much more sophisticated and deep (you know, to carry more stuff). But my devotion to you, my dearest readers, gave me the strength and courage to look for love in the new bag. I had to try to forget my former love. I had to finish this bag for you.

The Bag Phantom knew my secret and was angry. He disguised himself as an accented man wearing two different shoes so he could stalk me as I shopped at Valley Thrift (where the coat was purchased). I stood defenseless amongst the Louis Vuitton knockoffs, praying that the heavily breathing man blocking my way to the exit would not grab me by my wrist and drag me to his car.  I was lucky that day, for the Bag Phantom only meant to creep me out. He merely asked me to “walk through the store with him as I shopped.” (I am not kidding, this really happened!)

The "Bag Phantom"

I went back, several weeks later, to the same Valley Thrift after an extensive search for leather at other thrift stores left me purchaseless. I scanned the purses, fearing that the same man with two different shoes would appear. Luckily, he did not. But the Phantom was smart, and had other evil deeds planned.

The coat was suddenly too small for the large rectangular piece that I had originally intended for the construction of my bag. The Phantom had magically shrunken it from a size Large to a size Medium (or I could have not paid attention when I bought it). I had to cut several rectangles to piece together to make it work. Irritation bubbled inside me like Alka Seltzer and I cursed the evil Bag Phantom.

I began the process of construction. The leather bag that seemed so perfect at the time (that I purchased for $1.00), turned out to be a tremendous disappointment. It seemed so soft. It seemed so pliable. It seemed so thin. But it was all a lie. A terrible lie. One agonizing stitch, followed by an irritating seam rip, and ending with a torturous sewing machine malfunction caused me to curse like a banshee. I ripped the leather apart with my bare hands while shouting words that would make Charles Manson blush. My poor, defenseless boyfriend tried to comfort me with sweet kisses and kind words, but I rejected and shocked him. It was static shock, but he was still shocked.

I fought this bag. I fought the terrible Phantom. I ripped and sliced and jabbed with a strength that I never knew existed within. Sacrifices were made, as is true of all battles. My bag is far from perfect, but I did it. I won. I defeated the evil Bag Phantom. And I have lived to tell the tale.

The Finished Bag

I realize it isn’t exactly like the bag you chose. Actually it is terrible and I can do better.

I hope you aren’t too disappointed and will still come back to vote for the next project. Please come back! Don’t let the Phantom scare you away!

The leather bag that seemed so perfect at the time (that I purchased for $1.00), turned out to be a tremendous disapointment. It seemed so soft. It seemed so pliable. It seemed so thin. But it was all a lie. A terrible lie.

A Quickee

I have been a busy little bee!

First, two friends of mine (Tim and Ellen) got hitched. My boyfriend and I had the honor of creating their wedding video. While doing so, I caught wedding fever and now my beloved boyfriend is terrified.

Second, I prepared Thanksgiving Dinner for my family for the first time and it turned out great!

 

Hostess with the mostest

Third, we had our closest friends over and did it all over again. It turned out great. I am exhausted.

 

Eating dinner number two...

Ellen (my newlywed friend) is a big fan of the necklace I made in my first project post. I wanted to make something special to wear to her rehearsal dinner to make her smile. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I consulted Grosgrain for some ideas. Grosgrain is a craft blog by Kathleen Francis. Sadly, I do not know her personally but I still think she rocks the Casbah.

Kathleen has been refurbishing sweaters this month. One in particular tickled my fancy.

 

Image taken from Grosgrain

I took a sad little yellow sweater and put it through a miraculous transformation. It has become one of my favorite pieces of all time and I love it very much.

 

Drawing a new neckline

Clean finish with ribbon

Stitching it in place

New shape ready for embellishment

Making the "yo-yo" embellishments

Yo-yo's in place

My Vogue face

Total look plus a peak at my kitten Brooklynn!

Ellen loved it. Hopefully soon I will be able to post the two of us doing a project together. She has great taste and I would love to create something with her!

That being said, stay inspired my friends! Check back soon for Stage 1 of my computer bag project!

 

Arm Candy Winner!

#2 is the winner!

I will be attempting to recreate this lovely laptop sleeve out of as many thrifted materials as possible. I plan to do a write-up on my travels for material, my construction methods, and then the final product. With the holidays fast approaching, I have to warn that this might take me a bit longer than the last project. I might be too stuffed to sew! Just bear with me friends!

Full Frontal

 

Flapped Up

 

Back View

Above are some detail views so you can get a better feel of what the finished project will look like. I am excited to begin!

Thank you to all those who participated! I can’t wait to see what you think!

All images are from packandsmooch via his etsy shop.

Arm Candy

It’s time to start my next project! This time I want to do a cool unisex bag to tote my blogging gear in while traveling around town. I plan to purchase fabric and as many trims as possible from local thrift and vintage stores to save money and the environment. Please leave a comment on my blog or on facebook letting me know which bag is your favorite , why you prefer it over the others, and what you do at home to help save the environment! I don’t mind if you just separate your cans and put them in that lovable green recycle bin. Every little bit counts!

Pick and Choose

This is going to take me a bit longer than the necklace. I haven’t sewn anything more intricate than a pant hem since graduation (2008, yikes!), so forgive me. I have a few fun posts planned for you while I create my next masterpiece. Go ahead and subscribe to the blog or bookmark me!

You can find the bags above at the following websites: “Bee” Tote by Matt Shallenberg; Merino Sleeve by packandsmooch; Faux Fur Backpack by Ecote; Wayfarer Pack by LAYERxlayer


Eye Candy Complete

We have a winner! Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment! It was a total last-minute Facebook takeover and necklace #1 destroyed the competition.

The winner, “Tender Kindness” by Elva Fields, is truly gorgeous. Here are some close-up shots from the website.

Detail Images

Please note that this designer used a vintage brooch and pair of earrings for her stunner of a necklace. Luckily, I recently purchased a matching necklace and earrings set from a local thrift store (for a whole dollar) that was perfect for this project. It’s like you read my mind and knew I had the most important part of this necklace already in my arsenal. I bet it’s because you know me so well, loves. You know me so well.

Charm & Earrings for $1.00

The original necklace retails for $192.00 and I completely understand why. Beads can be as expensive as they are beautiful. Just ask Makayla Burck, the very understanding and patient woman who helped me over at A World of Beads in Hyde Park, Cincinnati. I walked into the store, thinking I knew it all. I definitely did not. I got a crash course in bead-making and bead pricing.

I searched the store from top to bottom with my trusty helper and found these pieces for my project.

My Beads

Beads

 

 

Chain and Clasp

Makayla showed me how to attach chain link to the clasp with some special bead making tools that look like something out of Dad’s toolbox. Then she showed me how to create the tail of the clasp using some truly beautiful beads and some wire. This is a skill I learned you must practice. Makayla is a total pro.

I couldn’t quite afford to create a clasp that was identical to Elva’s, but Makayla was ready with plenty of suggestions on how to create something similar on a more economical budget. Although mine is simpler, I think it is still just as beautiful.

After the quick in-store lesson, I left World of Beads to complete my project at home. I would have sat in the shop all day with the inspiring and sweet Makayla, but I am aware that most people can only handle me for so long. So off I went to create my masterpiece in solitude.

Step one was threading the string through the last link of chain and securing it with a small bead called a “crimper.” It is a small seed bead that you actually smash to secure the string. I then threaded my beads and attached the end of the sting to the chain link on the other side of the necklace clasp. Easy enough.

Stringing The Beads

Attaching the flowers was a little more difficult. I had to use pliers to manipulate the post of the earrings into loops that I could thread through the string. I was positive that I was going to pull the posts right out of the earrings and the project would be ruined, but by some freak of nature I managed to get it right.

From Earring To Necklace Charm

I threaded my flowers onto the necklace, threaded the remaining beads to the last string, and tried on my new necklace. It wasn’t ready. The flowers needed to be better secured to the necklace to keep fromdrooping. I went nuts with some wire, secured those bad boys, and marveled at my beautiful creation.

Wire Added To Hold Flower In Place

Here is the final product next to its source of inspiration.

Mine Vs. Elva's

Instead of paying $192.00 for the Elva Fields necklace, I created my own for a little under $80.00.

I know I shouldn’t toot my own horn, but…

TOOT! TOOT!

Tell me what you think!

Oh, and don’t forget to check back in a few days. I want to show you a few awesome things over at A World of Beads that I think you will really love!