Archives For Projects

I don’t like to spend a lot of money on clothes. I buy most of what I wear on clearance or at the thrift store and hold onto it for years. I do like to look cute, though, and a trick I’ve used for years to efficiently make my way through racks of deeply discounted garments is to know my colors. It’s so much easier to scan quickly for colors that you know work well on you than to painstakingly assess each item one at a time. Once I spot something in a color that I like I’ll pull it out to see what I think of the fabric, cut, size, etc.

For a long time I just had an informal idea in my head of what colors I liked to wear, but a few months ago I googled seasonal color analysis and WOW has it been helpful! There are tons of sites out there, but I really like this one. Turns out I’m a soft summer. I totally saved the description as a screenshot on my phone so that I can refer to the color suggestions when I’m shopping.

2013-05-14 10.54.54 (380x570)

 

soft summer (570x379)

The Chic Fashionista

 

I don’t take a lot of responsibility for Nick’s wardrobe. I pretty much leave him to fend for himself and that often results in clothes that are tattered and out of style because he is so cheap that he asks for socks for Christmas so he won’t have to buy them himself. But every now and then if I’m shopping for myself I’ll look around for shirts for him and it’s nice to know what colors work well with his complexion. It was easy for me to take the color analysis quiz on his behalf because I look at him every day. He has obvious deep features with an overall warmth to his skin and eyes. So handsome =).

Sept 2 2012 southport ct (2) (251x377)

deep autumn (570x425)

The Chic Fashionista

And because I am a crazy person, I analyzed my baby’s colors. I can’t be wasting my money on clothes that don’t do  him justice! I’ve been saying since the day that this child was born that he just doesn’t look good in most shades of blue and it’s nice to finally be validated. Jack is warm all over and looks best in warm, muted colors. He’s also the cutest, sweetest baby that ever lived.

021 (2) (406x570)

warm autumn (570x467)

The Chic Fashionista

It’s so much easier to save money on clothes when you’re not haphazardly buying stuff that may or may not actually look good on you. For women it’s also important to know what shapes work with your body (peplum is never going to be doing me any favors, but skinny jeans are surprisingly flattering). I guess that could be true for guys, too, but honestly I’m doing good if I can just get Nick to wear something without any holes. We’re taking family photos this weekend and I used these color suggestions to pull together outfits that look good on everybody and with each other! More on that tomorrow, I think. Have a happy Thursday, y’all. One more day til the weekend!

My friend Kristina asked me a while ago if I could make a cute little sign for the door to her son Jonathan’s room. I told her sure! Just pick out whatever materials you want and I’ll see what I can do. So she went to Hobby Lobby and got an MDF letter, a wood plaque, and a bunch of different types of scrapbook paper for me to choose from. I felt terrible because she actually brought all this stuff to me months ago but it wasn’t until this weekend that I finally got around to making it, but my guilt is gone now because it actually turned out really cute!

I picked this green chevron out of all the paper she brought me. I like how the smaller scale is a little more subtle than the bigger, bolder chevron that you see more often. Plus I knew that I had some green paint to match!

002 (570x380)

I started by peeling the label off the letter J and painting both it and the edges of the wood plaque green using some craft paint that I’ve had in my stash for years.

007 (570x380)

I carefully cut the paper to the size of the flat part of the plaque using a straight edge and a ruler, then used mod podge to affix it to the wood. Unfortunately, when I applied another layer of mod podge over the top to seal it the paper bubbled up and wrinkled and I started frantically trying to smooth it down and ended up ripping the paper.

008 (380x570)

Luckily, the paper was only 50 cents and I knew where it had come from, so I stopped by Hobby Lobby while out running errands and picked up another sheet. I came home and tried it again, this time applying a super thin layer of mod podge and trying not to freak out when it bubbled up. Instead, I walked away for an hour and was pleasantly surprised when it dried perfectly flat! I applied two more coats, letting it dry for a couple of hours between each, and ended up with a smooth and wipeable surface that looks really good.

014 (425x570)

All that was left to do then was glue the letter J onto the plaque! I used superglue because it was handy but hot glue or regular craft glue would work just as well.

070 (371x570)

To make it hangable, I popped the tab off an empty can (let’s pretend like it wasn’t a beer) and hot glued it onto the back. It’s actually much sturdier than one might think! If you’d rather not hang your hopes on hot glue, or if you don’t want to put a nail in your door, you could also hang it with one of those Command picture hanging strips. I asked Kristina which she would prefer and she voted for the can tab because it meant she wouldn’t have to go to the store to buy Command strips, haha. My kind of girl.

2013-06-10 16.02.21 (428x570)

It’s hard to come up with cute stuff for boys, but I kind of love the way this project turned out. Plus it’s not so babyish that it wouldn’t also work for a big kid room. Chevron is really trendy right now and who knows if we’ll all be so over it in a few years, but other than that I can totally see this still being a fun addition to Jonathan’s room when he’s five or even ten (gosh I cannot imagine our babies being ten!).

Are y’all ready for this? I’ve got a really complex, Earth-shattering DIY to share today. Hold onto your hats.

First, I found some rocks. Then, I wrote on them. With a sharpie. To put in my garden.

046 (570x381)

This “project” literally took five minutes from start to finish with a baby in my lap. And I didn’t even get any marker on the baby.

033 (380x570)

036 (570x380)

042 (381x570)

053 (570x380)

I just put them in the herb garden for now, since the veggie garden is so overrun with grass that the rocks would be lost, but this fall when I move the veggies over to a new bed near the herbs I’ll whip up some fancy rocks for them too. Not because I really need a marker to tell tomatoes and cucumbers apart, but because it’s fun. And sometimes I do forget what I planted.

Speaking of forgetting, I almost forgot to post today! I uploaded all the pictures yesterday and was at work for an hour this morning before I remembered I never finished it! Good thing work is pretty slow for me before I start running therapy groups at 10:00. Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Jack has been really into flinging stuff lately. It’s almost like an involuntary movement. He is developmentally compelled to fling. It’s not that big of a deal with toys and stuff, but it’s pretty freaking (I wanted to use a different word there) annoying when your half-asleep baby drowsily yanks the pacifier out of his mouth and flings it across the room, then starts rooting around for it two seconds later. I started trying to brainstorm a solution (beyond the obvious paci clip) and when I came up with the idea of tying it to a blanket I had the perfect fabric in mind. I have been waiting for an opportunity to use this brightly colored whales fabric for months. I ordered a fat quarter from etsy and paid less than $5 even with shipping.

001 (570x380)

I was too excited to wash it first, so I hope that doesn’t come back to bite me in the you-know-what, but I did give it a quick iron before cutting it into a 14″x14″ square.

004 (570x380)

I had this white minky that my sister gave me after she made Jack a changing pad cover with it for Christmas. I cut the minky into a square of the same size and then pinned them right sides together with a short length of ribbon pointing in from the corner. Before I pinned them together I used the grid on my cardboard cutting thing to mark out a 13″x13″ square. I just used a regular ink pen since I knew this part wouldn’t show.

009 (570x379)

Then I just sewed along the blue line I’d drawn, leaving one corner open to turn it inside out. It’s just like sewing a pillow cover.

014 (570x380)

I stitched the corner closed by hand, cut the ribbon into a nicer point, and bam, I had a cute little blanket. It was so easy that I made another for my friend Gina who has a baby the same age.

018 (570x380)

Okay I’m lying. I actually made Gina’s first because I already had the fabric (left over from the boppy cover I butchered) and I was too excited to wait for my whales fabric to come in. And lest you think I completed an entire project with no mistakes, I accidentally sewed the ribbon inside the blanket on my first attempt.

034 (570x380)

At almost a year Jack is old enough now to sleep with a small blanket (until recently we only used swaddlers and sleepsacks) and the ribbon is way too short to pose a strangulation hazard, but if you were really worried about it you could use an even shorter ribbon and a more breathable fabric like muslin.

So far the only problem is that the ribbon is actually a little too slippery, and by morning the paci has usually come loose from the ties that bind. Not a big deal unless we can’t find the *%#!# pacifier. I swear these things disappear like very expensive socks.

And with that I’m off to enjoy our Friday! Happy weekend, everyone!