Wednesday, December 31, 2008


My boy...

Bottle of Advil: $4
Bag of chocolate: $6
3 Emergency visits to vet in 2008: $2500+
Not being reported to the ASPCA: priceless

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sketch, flip image, repeat

Love this tutorial from Design*Sponge. I was just playing around with her instructions and design for my own and came up with this similar design. Not sure what I'd do with it, but it's so much fun to construct!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Self-serving final project

I took a digital art class this semester and just finished up today-hurray! For my final project I wanted to do something that I could use once the class was over, as I have far too many old projects just lying around the apartment collecting dust. So I did a series of zombie t-shirts (a la my 28 Weeks Later shirt). The last two shirts I used the pic I posted below, and the top one is an image from a 2 Halloweens ago. As you can see, I'm not so keen on ironing.

The transfers I used are crap for sure, very plasticky and cracked as soon as I folded the shirt. If I do this again I will use my original method or find a better brand of transfer. But at least I have the images ready to go.

Friday, December 12, 2008

When at Work on What Should Be a Snow-Day, One Should Avoid Doing Any Actual Work, No?

I love Jessica's style over on What I Wore! Via WIW, I sometimes read her other blog, Love Puppy, on which she made a great point yesterday about designers borrowing (sometimes heavily) from vintage pieces. As I mentioned in a post earlier this week I can't and won't spend huge $$$ for something that is fairly trendy which I can find thrifting for potentially similar quality, in my humble opinion.

So, inspired by Jessica, I scoured eBay and etsy for products to make an outfit similar to this outfit Lindsay Price wore on Lipstick Jungle which is presumably new, pricey clothing:

image via celebutopia

Not identical, of course, but similar without the huge price tag, or sacrificing quality. Also, because these are vintage or handmade items one will not run the risk of seeing the exact piece on someone else. Ah well, if nothing else it was fun searching for the clothing and playing around in Paint on a day I should be home with the Husband who did not have to go to work!

Necklace made by wiyomu
Via eBay: jeans via kittens_treasure, shoes via lulamaybeholly, shirt via jtandcompany, jacket via leatherbarn

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

3 Things I Know For Sure:

1. Getting dental work done SUCKS!
2. Paying for dental work SUCKS!
3. Paying for dental work would suck a lot more without insurance, I'm lucky I have it! (Being positive about sucky things is a new thing I'm trying.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Belated Happy Halloween!

Nothin' like a Halloween post less than 3 weeks before Christmas, but I just got this pic of my husband and me back from a friend, and couldn't resist a little picnik. We were 1980s Zombie Prom King & Queen, in case it wasn't obvious.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thrifting for silk shirts <-- lame title

I really love all the ruffly blouses this season, they're festive, stylish, and oh so girly. I can't (won't) pay the price for one of these shirts in a silk fabric, I do not want to buy a cheaper polyester-that-looks-like-silk shirt. I could just search high and low for a moderately priced one, or I could use this as an opportunity to practice my sewing skills. I found three nicer silk shirts at Goodwill the other day (one is Max Studio, which made me very happy) for under $10 total. I'm not sure what I'll do to them, maybe remove the arms and create a ruffly collar with them, or a little ruffly yoke.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Halloween Decor

My rip-off (yet again) of Pottery Barn:

I should probably fill the glass jars with something, but with a week and a half before Halloween it's probably gonna stay this way.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A little late for a dress like this, but...

For a DIY version of the $98 Gypsy 05 dress my equation is as follows:

Vogue 8386 Pattern ($10) + Organic Fabric from Emma One Sock ($13.75 per yard x 2.75 yards) + RIT dye ($3.99 per bottle x 2 bottles- Kelly Green and Royal Blue mixed to make turquoise) = $55.79, plus or minus

The bonuses:
You now have the pattern, so you can make more of this dress in various colors
You probably have enough dye left to make a Kelly Green dress and a Royal Blue dress

So, with buying an additional 5.5 yards of the same fabric ($75.62) you get 3 dresses for $131.41 (less if you want to deviate from the higher end fabric), rather than 3 for $294.

For an even closer version, see this lovely lady's post on how to create twisted straps using Vogue 8386.

Or you could just wait for Forever21 to make a knock-off but where's the fun in that?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fall wishes/desires/inspirations

Finally, the cooler, crisper weather is upon us here in northern New England, and a girl can't help but be drawn to cozy knits and crafty projects, which lend themselves so well to early evenings and cool temperatures. Nothing seems more cheerful and homey to me than something baking in the oven, me sitting on the futon knitting or crocheting (or at least trying to), Husband doing schoolwork, and a chill in the air. To me that beats sweating trying to cook supper and the inescapable heat and humidity of the summer months. Here are some things I've been thinking about doing to welcome the change of the season:

This is a bit Spring-y, but a sweater nonetheless from Anthropologie :

But rather than spend the $98, I'd like to try this
tutorial from Erica Makes Stuff.

More inspiration: pattern picture on the left, Diane Von Furstenberg on the right

The pattern for the green shrug is from Berroco. It tickled me pink to find the exact same mannequin pose for the pattern and the inspiration!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

French women

So, my obsession this week is French women and their seemingly innate sense of style with everything they do, wear, eat, live, et cetera. Julie, a friend and former co-worker of my husband, is French and when she lived in the states a few years ago she, my husband, and I would hang out mostly every weekend. I would secretly study the way she dressed or wore jewelry; she was so effortlessly chic, yet casual. From studying her style I saw how she wore a scarf gracefully (now much to my chagrin it's apparently a trend) and how she cuffed her jeans to just the right length to look ever so cool. She was fairly daring in her fashion choices and I certainly admire that as a fairly cautious (read: boring) dresser myself. So in lieu of studying Julie I'll have to search the Internet, here's what I've come up with so far:

Style and the City for Parisian street style

Ceci n'est pas une blog for pictures and musings on French style

To deviate a bit, this post from What Would Phoebe Do suggests that Frenchwomen appear stylish to Americans because they put together their outfits differently but not any more creatively than American women- certainly a valid point.

Here's one for fun, My Inner French Girl

This post is an article from The Sunday Times by Helen Frith Powell, who has authored some books about Frenchwomen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hmm, this seems too easy...

I know it has hidden casters- an element I don't care about- but this table from CB2 seems easy enough to make on my own. I think I'll go with pine instead of oak, stain it black, forgo the casters, customize the size, and make peace with the fact it won't be as streamlined and save myself about $200. I really need a narrow table for crafting and sewing, as well as a place for the computer, and this seems to fit the bill.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Flickr inspiration

AT inspiration
Originally uploaded by kellyb443
I'm attempting the Apartment Therapy 8 Week Cure very, very casually these pictures are what keep me motivated, so simple and clean, not overly designed or decorated, just real.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Harvesting yarn

I recently attended the University of Maine's annual yard sale where the facilities people sell all the stuff leftover from students' rooms (kinda creepy, yes), things forgotten and many things intentionally left behind. There were many, many pieces of clothing that were clearly discarded Halloween costumes, and various teeny-tiny sized garments that I imagine the owner no longer being able to fit into after gaining the Freshmen Fifteen, so rather than packing up those size zeroes she conveniently leaves them behind. I searched for sweaters made with fairly good shape yarn for harvesting and came up with a few good ones and some hats and scarves as well. After I unravel and wash the yarn who knows in what form they will live their second life. I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures, I'm no good with a camera, but I have since discovered that the manual for the camera is chock full of good information regarding how the camera actually works.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Results of doing my (little) part

After being more conscientious about our electricity usage at home I just wanted to post that last month we reduced our KWH (kilowatt-hour) per day by 1.5 KWH or about $0.27 per day. From one year ago we are down 4 KWH and about $.69 a day. While that may not sound like a lot it is in black and white on my bill and the difference is only more motivation to keep on keepin' on.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Too much milk and two almost-done projects

I discovered on Monday that the milk we just bought was set to "expire" that day. I generally don't pay much attention to those dates, I mean if it smells fine and tastes fine...So what to do with a gallon of milk? I made corn chowder and biscuits for supper and rice pudding for dessert, that put a major dent in it. At work, in order to meet our Carbon Challenge we switched from a 5 day week to a 4 day week (4 10-hour days). So Monday, my day off this week, was a perfect day for solving the problem of too much milk. The English Teacher suggested I stay home everyday, when asked if he would subsidize this request he replied yes, as long as I cooked that well everyday. Oh, if only!

I am inches, no, millimeters away from finishing two projects. One is a navy blue polka-dotted dress (see pattern at right) and another is the Go-Go Garter Scarf from Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'N Bitch. I ignored the pattern's request to use purple, teal, and green (I think, I can't remember) colored yarns, and used pale blue, pink, and a cocoa colored organic cotton yarn. While working on it at the In-Laws house over Memorial Day weekend, my brother-in-law saw me knitting together the blue and pink and asked me if I was "expecting" (I am not). I don't outwardly look like I'm in a state of expectancy, so I guess he deduced that knitting=pregnancy or it was the baby blue and pink that threw him. Oh well! Hopefully I will be able to post the FO by this weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Doing my (little) part

It's sad but true; what really got me motivated to attempt a greener life is the price of gasoline. Maybe that's the American way, we pay attention once our wallets feel the pinch. I guess the reason for the decision to live greener is probably not what matters though, what matters is that I'm trying to do my part by taking (baby) steps to reduce my carbon footprint.

The Husband and I have started buying food locally as often as we can. We buy our meat (yes, we still will be consuming meat) at an amazing farmers market from a quirky farmer who tells great jokes and his elderly mother who has that dry Maine wit so common with that generation. I also bought a half share of a CSA which is part of the University of Maine's Sustainable Agriculture program. Starting in June I will go to the farm once a week to pick up organic vegetables, and I can't wait!

I started taking the bus. While it's not as green as walking or biking it's certainly better than driving alone in my car.

We replaced our light bulbs with CFLs- and we are probably the last people I know who haven't done this already.

I started taking Navy showers, cold but worth it, I think.

I read Colin Beavan's blog No Impact Man, definitely one of the most inspirational blogs I've read. It keeps me motivated and he is always providing his readers with ways to be green and be active about being green.

And as I love crafting, I also have been searching the Internet for ideas for green crafts. Crafters and DIYers are resourceful by nature and, I think, have always been pioneers of figuring out ways to reuse thing that might otherwise become trash. Here's a small collection of links about recycled materials for crafting:

Recycling yarn from old sweaters:
Recycled yarn

Recycling wool:
Sew Green Recycled Slippers
Two Green Chickens Recycling Wool Sweaters

Various materials:
A Little Hut
Sew Green

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Buying things...

I am in dire need of some dresses and skirts that can transition from one season to another, hence my recent Forever21 purchases (I threw in a top for the free shipping).

Monday, April 7, 2008

Making things...

I mocked up these invitations this weekend for my sis and her fiance. I'm definetly a novice at graphic design, but I did manage to do my own invitations for my wedding so I thought I'd give it another whirl. I sketched, then scanned, then used Photoshop to manipulate the images. I really need to do the Save-the-Date cards, probably should've started there.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Current Obsessions

Here's quickie post just for the sheer purpose of posting something, these are things with which I am currently obsessed:

Crocheting, or rather learning to crochet

Redecorating my kitchen, I want to paint the walls and floor, and buy new cabinets

Juno soundtrack

Inventing a new career for myself

Other people's blogs

Spring clothes, enough with the snow Mother Nature, do you hear me?!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wardrobe Overhaul

The long weekend allowed me to take inventory of what I had (or lack thereof) hanging in my closet. My crowded, messy, shared closet was the first hurdle, I couldn't see anything that was in there. My first step was to buy a garment rack and designate a new home for my clothing away from the black hole of a closet, out in the open. After hanging up my sad duds I sifted through what remained of several recent purges, which was not much. I have a few things that I do wear often which are in good condition and are well-made, but one's wardrobe cannot subsist on two nice button-up shirts, two nice sweaters, and some work pants. Truly, sad duds. With the help of Lucky's Style Manual and a couple of my favorite blogs (Chic & Icing's Wardrobe Taming posts) , I figured out what I needed most to start building a basics wardrobe. It will probably take me a while as I like to research and price compare, but I think it will be fun and chronicling it here will keep me organized (I am a Capricorn).

The Black Pump

Of course Louboutins and Manolos are obvious choices that will last forever, but I currently don't have that kind of scratch and I am looking for a mid-range, instant gratification standard black pump.

My criterion: Black, closed-toe, non-platform, non-stacked heel, over 3 1/4 inch heel, leather or patent leather, no-frills professional-looking, under $300 (preferably under $200)

The finalists are:
Via Spiga Amanda $182.95

Nine West Gaffer $82.95

Michael Kors Cairo $229

Charles by Charles David Fate $113.95

Calvin Klein Vida $100

BCBGirls Nice $92.95

Anne Klein Chesna $263.95

Friday, January 4, 2008

Some zombie fun!

Here is a pic of some zombie note cards I purchased from seller MATTY8080 on I plan on arranging them behind a frame and putting them in my new office. It's not too over-the-top ghoulish/grotesque zombie imagery so I figured I'd be safe displaying them in a professional environment.

Happy New Year!

Happy 2008 to anyone that stumbles across this blog!

Wow, posting definetly fell the wayside in the past few months. Grad school papers and reading (heavy, heavy, heavy reading!) and a new professional position left me with little time for blogging. But a new professional position means I should probably get some new professional clothing so, if I can organize myself I'm going to get a wishlist up on here.