Month: September 2013

Flowers! Sort of.

It’s officially Autumn! I celebrated by wrapping up in a grey infinity scarf (a gift from Berlin) and indulging in delicious coffee and some much-need R&R. How have you spent your first days of Fall?

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Of course, yesterday wasn’t the beginning of my favorite season without a little crafting. Looking to spruce up our tiny kitchen table, I fashioned a small autumnal bouquet of dusty purple and ecru mums, a green gerber daisy, and a few orange ranunculuses (ranunculi?). The mason jar and grosgrain ribbon give it all a homespun feel.

Unapologetically fake and a tad gloomy, I think this arrangement will be perfect for October – which is rapidly approaching by the way!close bowjar lightson with candles mercury glass


May I take a moment to express my feelings for mercury glass? We bought 12 of these assorted votive holders for our wedding last year, and I cannot get enough of them! The crackled effect of the glass is beautiful enough for special occasions and spooky enough for All Hallow’s Eve.

It’s not too soon to start decorating… right?

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The Big Costume Reveal

After weeks of deliberation, I have finally decided on my Halloween costume. This is no trivial matter, mind you, as I take this holiday very seriously. Out of many excellent possibilities, I have chosen to revisit one of my favorite childhood costumes:

Grey-Eyed Athena. Minerva.
Ancient goddess of wisdom, arts and crafts, and strategic warfare.

I have always found Athena to be absolutely fascinating and visually stunning. Born from Zeus’s head fully clad in armor, she was both feminine and masculine, nurturing and destructive. Artisans throughout the centuries have been inspired by Pallas Athene, depicting her in paintings and statuary in all her terrible glory. The goddess, even when adorned in beautiful woven robes, bears the head of Medusa on her aegis. In other words, she’s a total badass.athene

For my costume, I have chosen a non-traditional color scheme of gold and navy in a variety of textures. The light and airy navy (with a subtle black dot) will make up the tunic, while the gold solid will be draped from one shoulder and gathered in some fashion.

bundled jacquardI fell for the stunning gold and silver jacquard fabric in the store and couldn’t leave without it. The raised bumps reminded me of hammered metal, but it still was beautiful enough for a goddess. I’m thinking it will be perfect for a breastplate, which no Athena costume should be without. I am hoping to add some quilting and beadwork to the armor to give it even more depth.

As I construct this year’s costume, I will share updates on my progress. Have you decided on a Halloween costume yet?

Put a Bow On It

Sometimes you gotta roll with the punches… make lemonade when life hands you lemons… keep calm and carry on. What I’m trying to say is that sometimes DIY goes madly awry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “game over” for your project. In fact, deviating from your original plan – or scrapping it entirely – can yield stunning results.

Bow full

Long story short, I put a not-so-small hole in this sweater. Like, front and center… which is a problem since I had set out to embellish the front of my cardigan with heavy beads and buttons.  Instead of a DIY pièce de résistance, I had an unraveling mess on my hands. Y I K E S.

At moments like these, I put my project down and walk away. Taking a break gives me time to think through my options, say a bunch of swear words, and reboot. I weighed the pros and cons of several ideas over a cup of coffee, but ultimately decided on the simplest fix: put a bow on it. A BIG ONE.

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So, that’s how this bow-bedecked cardi came to be.

Button Row 2I switched out the plain buttons for shiny (plastic) gold ones and placed a small silver-lined bead in the center for added interest. Much to my surprise, the buttons actually sparkle as they catch the light!

I fashioned a large bow out of black and white grosgrain ribbon and sewed it onto the collar. The bow not only hid the hole (which has been patched), but transformed a basic cardigan into something wonderfully chic.

While disappointed my original project never came to be, I am thrilled with what I made in the end. This cardi will transition from work to weekend seamlessly, and because the details are timeless, it will work with any season.

Here, I have paired my newest creation with an emerald blouse (Pantone’s color of the year!) and my favorite pair of denim. Throw on some black ballet flats and I’m ready for Sunday afternoon.

tryoutEmerald sleeveless blouse (Joe Fresh, $14)
Dark wash skinny-straight denim (Level 99, $130)
Heather grey 3/4 sleeve cardigan (Merona, $13) + Folklore DIY bow and buttons

Sweater Weather

My dear friend and very crafty maven Sarahrulu (of FHF fame) brought a lovely embellished cardigan to my attention this week. A simple crew neckline goes from “blah” to “ahh!” with pearls of all sizes and a sprinkling of rhinestones. You can see it here. Once I stopped swooning –  it took a bit – I began to day dream about my own fancy cardi. Swap out that buttery yellow for a fall-appropriate neutral and add a healthy dose of academic chic. Now we’re talking!

And so, as it always goes, I found myself at Joann’s last night… but not before I made a Target run. Snatched this heather grey Merona crew-neck cardigan for only $13! That’s a bingo! I’m not entirely certain what I’m doing with all these delightful craft supplies yet, but that’s never stopped me before.

sweater buttons beads ribbons horz

Oh! Do yourself a favor and listen to “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood.

Hello, September!

I cannot believe it’s already September. Time has flown by these past few weeks, but I’m not complaining. Fall crafting is now officially in full swing, and I can begin to publicly plan for Halloween… I will buy glow-in-the-dark glitter this year, I swears it!

I finally got around to unpacking my yarn stash – what’s left of it anyway. Poor things have been sitting in a box since we moved in May. Now that they’re free, the nubby textures and dark colors are inspiring all sorts of creativity. I really want to make at least one sweater this season. Motivation? Got it! Selecting a pattern? That’s the hard part.

yarn stack

close upNow, I can’t talk about knits and sweaters without mentioning jackets. Oh, how I live for jacket weather. I’m feeling the need for an unconventional outerwear-related DIY project. Any ideas?jackets