Friday, August 31, 2012

I scream for ice cream

A first taste of ice cream. Some uncertainty because it's cold. A second bite. Happiness. Delight. Eager expectation for more. Then realize the bowl is empty. Scream.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I feel a historic obligation to keep you posted on affordable hide-shaped rugs. This dhurrie at World Market is $50 and about 4 by 5.

For the diehard DIYer, there's still the Sharpie on vinyl.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend photos

Weird condensation closeup that only I appreciate.

Al fresco dining at a friend's house near Hersey, Pennsylvania, where they ask why I'm taking so many photos of the water pitcher.

Little friends came to visit and enjoyed the view from our roof in Brooklyn.

Hope your weekend was fun as well.

Guest posting at Meet Me in Philadelphia

I'm guest posting today at Ashley's home design blog Meet Me in Philadelphia with three home design trends for fall that I'm liking. Can you guess what they are?

I'm DIYing one of them this week. Hope to share it soon.

Images: Sally Wheat Interiors; Bailey McCarthy on Design Sponge; Tiffany Eastman Interiors in Cottages & Gardens.

Friday, August 24, 2012

MY DIY dyed lace bracelet

Learn how to make the craft-stash-busting bracelet with my tutorial over at Dollar Store Crafts. Bonus, it's self-ventilated for those hot hot days.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cool lighting at a kiddie store

Some of the best looking sort-of-expensive-but-not-ridiculously-so lighting I've seen lately has come from the kiddie store Land of Nod.

Above is the Between a Rock lamp, which is $69 just for the base, a tad high for such a wee lamp but wow it looks neat. Next to it is the Modern Clip Lamp for $49. (Does anyone besides me find it annoying when children have cooler stuff than I do?)

Here's some Land of Nod lighting in the homes of real grownups.

Ashley at Meet Me in Philadelphia got two Rock lamps.

And you may recall the two Flashlight lamps I bought from Land of Nod awhile ago for $50 each when I was craving shiny nickel task lighting.

They ended up being horrible for the job I intended (lighting a whole bedroom, go figure) but great for illuminating the foyer and helping Mr. Bromeliad distinguish the navy blue socks from the black ones.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fame, Mod Podge giveaway winner and successful silk screening

My ruffled rose pillow was recently featured in The Washington Post Style section in an article by  Erin Williams about ways to reuse a bridesmaid's dress.

The pillow now lives in Australia with Elizabeth, author of the blog I Heart Sunny Days. So Elizabeth, you may want to be careful about whom you let sit on that pillow since it's famous and all.

In other news, after deciding that crafts really shouldn't make you angry, I sent my Plaid screenprinting kit to Maya at Soccer Mom Style. Maya is an avid DIYer and an actual artist, and, as expected, she got the kit to work quite nicely and made the above shirt for her daughter. 

And last but not least, the winner of our $60 Mod Podge giveaway is Brooke from Inside-Out Design. Congrats, Brooke. If you can send me your snail mail address, I will get this box of goodies out to you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

True blue

Been eating so many of these I should be turning this color.

Hope you all have a nice summer weekend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My DIY photoreal digital print skirt

Attention Walmart shoppers, Dries Van Noten in Aisle 9.

Based on your votes and my own ambivalent thought processes, I decided to make a skirt from my photoreal Walmart t-shirt. (Thought process: I could turn a skirt into a clutch later if I wanted; but I can't turn a clutch into a skirt.) BTW, Maya reports this t-shirt is now on sale for $7.

I made some mistakes, but overall it was pretty easy and is proving to be a great summer skirt. Using the hem of the t-shirt as your skirt hem, you can get away with only three seams and no zipper on this baby.

To make this skirt, you will need:
  • an extra large Walmart t-shirt. You may be able to use a smaller size. However, the skirt may also end up shorter.
  • a sewing machine, preferably with a heavy duty needle used for sewing leather or thick fabric. The digital print creates a coating that is hard for a regular needle to get through.
  • washable marker in two colors
  • straight pins 
Turn your t-shirt inside out. Chop off the arms and neck of the t-shirt. Cut away the side seams. (I did not do this. But it's a good idea as you will see later.)

Take half of your t-shirt and lay it wrong side up on a flat surface.

Find a skirt that already fits you and lay it on top. Pin shut any slits in the back or sides of the skirt. Line up the hem of the skirt with the hem of the t-shirt. Mark the outline of the skirt with a washable marker.

Cut out around the shape of the skirt leaving a good inch or two seam allowance. (Not shown.)

Lay the other half of your t-shirt on the flat surface right side up. Lay the cut out piece of t-shirt on top wrong side up. Line up the hems. Eyeball the image and slide the top piece around so you have a continuous image from front to back. It won't be exact but do whatever looks good. A matching hem is more important than a matching image. (I did not think about matching up the image until after the skirt was done.)

Pin about a quarter inch or more outside of the line you marked through both layers of fabric. You want the stretchy fabric to fit a little looser than a non-stretchy skirt (unless you have a smokin' hot bod). Err on the side of largeness. Because of the fabric coating, the needle leaves holes, so seam ripping later is not an option.

Turn it right side out and try the skirt on. Look for weird bubbles or puckers and adjust accordingly. (You will have some puckers just because of the pins.)

When you are happy with the fit, mark your sew line with another color of marker. Turn the pins perpendicular to your sew line.

Sew up both sides of the skirt.

Fold down the waistband. To make it look nice, do a double fold. (A little skinny fold and then a wide fold.) I did not do this because I was using a wimpy needle and I didn't want to sew through an extra layer of fabric.

Set your sewing machine to a long stitch and sew the waistband. The long stitch will allow the waist to stretch around you when you pull the skirt on.

Trim the seams and you are done.

Since we are talking clingy t-shirt fabric, you are going to need a slip and some serious underwear to pull it off (unless you have a smokin' hot bod.)

You can dress it up or down. 

Would you do this to a Walmart t-shirt? And if you did, would you wear it?

Monday, August 13, 2012


Hope your weekend was as happy as hers.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A DIY challenge

As discussed yesterday, things surfy and photorealistic are hot fashion items right now.

So my DIY challenge is to decide what to do with the image above, which comes to us via Walmart.

Alert fellow blogger Maya Griggs from Soccer Mom Style came across Get a Life photoreal t-shirts at her local Walmart. Being a fellow fashionista, she immediately saw the high end DIY potential of these ridiculously cool shirts for $11.

Since they aren't available online, she kindly sent me one. I never got so excited about a t-shirt.

But what to do with it? Not as in a lack of ideas but as in which idea.

I could just keep it as a t-shirt a la Marios. (A Marios shirt is $165 and out of stock to boot.)

I could make it it into a pencil skirt or a mini dress a la Suno.

Or I could turn it into a pouch or clutch a la Jimmy Choo, Samudra or Dezco.

Here we have Jimmy Choo's Surf Clutch, which was $795 but is sold out. (I swear it's the same surfer.)  
Any opinions on this dilemma?

Up to 60% off Rugs USA

FYI, Groupon is having an online 60% off deal for Rugs USA.

As you may know, Rugs USA has lots of cool rugs but is also home of the $100 leather Moroccan pouf, the Beni Ourain knockoff rug (the Tuscan Moroccan Shag), the $140 ghost chair, ikat pillows and lots of other delicious stuff.

The deal is 60% off certain increments of spending. ($55 for $120, $75 for $170, $95 for $235).

So, if I'm understanding it right, a $295 Beni-ish rug could be had for $135. And two leather poufs could be yours for $105.

They've also got chevron in many colors, flokati, overdye and ikat rugs.

To find the deal, go to Groupon  and click the new Deals for the Home link on the right.

What would you consider getting? Personally, I'm mulling over these little chakki ottomans and, of course, the poufs. The deal is good for the next four days.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Just genuine excitement. However, I get a few Groupon bucks if you buy something after following my referral link.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Inspired by photoreality

Photorealistic digital fabric prints have been hitting the runways for the past year or two and are starting to trickle down to retailers from Anthro to H&M and are also turning up in home decor.

I particularly like photoreal prints that reproduce nature with landscapes, ocean surf and florals.

Are you feeling photoreality?

Images: H&M Dress on Hedvig at Northern Light; Marios (left), Anthropologie (right); Dries Van Noten Spring 2012 (top), Prada (bottom); Marios bag, Stella McCartney jacket; Mary Katrantzou; Dezso by Sara Beltran pouches; Anthropologie's Arlo sofa found via If the Lampshade Fits; Maison Condell body pillow.

Monday, August 6, 2012

My DIY tie-dye macrame necklace

I finally finished my multi-hippie-craft tie-dye and macrame necklace that was started in June.

To make this necklace, you will need one package of white laundry rope. I got mine at Walmart.

Tie a series of lanyard or crown knots. For a photo and video tutorial for tying the knots, see this article. (It's not that hard.)

For details on the dyeing process, see this post.  I used Tulip One-Step dye. Basically you fill a prepared squirt bottle with water, shake it to mix in the dye and squirt the dye on to the necklace.

Let the dye set overnight then rinse the necklace in cold water and allow it to dry.

Use fabric or similar glue to glue the last knot on each end of the necklace. Pull the ends of the knot tight and allow to dry. Then bring the four loose cords together in the center and glue. I tried different clamps but nothing seemed to work like fingers. So just hang onto it for a minute until the glue sets. Do the same on the other end of the necklace.

After the glue dries completely trim off the ends and melt them over a stove or using a lighter. This will prevent fraying.

Then squeeze the ends into the biggest end caps you can find. These are 8 mm, and they barely made it. (I recently found larger ones at a reasonable price at Toho Shoji.)

Then, because I lacked matching chain, I pieced together a series of jump rings to make a short chain and then added a lobster claw clasp.

I think if I were to make another one, I'd make it shorter, thicker (if possible) and with a higher contrast application of dye.

Before I forget, last chance for the $60 Mod Podge giveaway.