Saturday, March 31, 2012

DIY: Pastel Jeans

In my mind, bleach is a substance that turns objects that are not white, into objects that were formerly not white. Apparently this is totally a fallacy. See Exhibit A here.

I now present you with Exhibit B.

Take one pair of jeans that I never wear anymore, and dip it into bleach, a la this beautiful blogger. Remove approximately 6 hours later and discover that bleach can not only turn things yellow and eat away a gaping hole in the rear, but make them about three sizes too big! (Or maybe these jeans really were just this baggy to begin with??)


I liked the color though, so after taking them in about six inches (and adding an adorable robot patch), I'm in love! Perfect for all the pastels we're seeing this spring.

The waist/hips are still pretty baggy, but I don't know how to fix that without completely taking the side seams apart...

Isn't he just SOOO cute??

Sorry for the weird smirks. I'm a tired thesis student :(

P.S. You may notice a theme of "failed DIY's" in my last few DIY posts. This is intentional, because I really want to impress upon you that there isn't a perfect formula for crafting and creating. Maybe I'm just a really bad DIY'er, but I fail at projects all the time. The important thing is just to try. And when it's right, it's really really right. And yes, I am hinting at a future post :)

P.P.S. Apparently I love this shade of yellow. I just found two shirts and a dress that are all exactly the same color as these pants.

I mean, really?? Apparently my subconscious really likes this color.

Friday, March 30, 2012

How To: Survive the Last Three Weeks of Thesis Writing

In three weeks today, my thesis will be due. But don't worry, I've made preparations.

1) Gather your supplies. Caffeine, chocolate, clementines, instant oatmeal, peanut butter packs, fluffy socks, warm sweaters, noise canceling headphones. Whatever you need to stay awake, happy, and motivated in order to push through this last long haul.

2) Prepare your battle room. In other words, clean up your workspace. Make it comfy, make it clean, make it open, make it well-lighted. You'll be spending much of your time here. It also might be easier to work outside your dorm room (in the case of college students), where you can get tempted by your oh-so-comfy bed. Changing scenery helps productivity.

3) Draw up a plan of attack. Set aside a time each day to force yourself to write - this means everyday, whether or not you "feel like it". Set daily goals and mini-deadlines for yourself. I get a thrill crossing off items on my to-do list so I find that a bunch of smaller deadlines helps me stay on track. But figure out what works best for you.

4) Cut off communication. Turn off your wifi, turn off your cell phone, put a big "ANGRY THESIS STUDENT INSIDE" sign on your door, and turn on some Beethoven. But really, put down the phone, stop texting, exit Pinterest, no more Words With Friends, and you really need to stop stalking his Facebook wall. This is Words With My Thesis time.

5) Have a back up plan. Back your thesis up on a harddrive. Stay flexible when things don't go according to plan. Think of ways to creatively use what you have in order to make it work.

6) Move out. Daily. With huge projects, it's really easy to get stuck in "sitting inside all day slaving away at thesis work" mode,  which can quickly turn into "I haven't seen the sun in three days and am only 80% sure today is Tuesday." Get outside, do at least a half hour of rigorous exercise everyday. Make sure you're still showering and brushing your teeth. Wash your face. Change your clothes occasionally and use deodorant always.

7) Operation Sanity Preservation is a go.

(These guidelines also apply for other types of large projects, exams, papers, etc. Hope this helps!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

DIY: Tuxedo Pants

Remember my confession of undying love for marching band pants (which apparently are actually called "tuxedo pants")? Well, the ASOS pants I ordered turned out to be roughly three sizes too big, so I decided to make my own version.

What you need:
Pants of your choice
Ribbon, fabric strip, lace, etc of your choice

I was really tempted to use a tribal print trim (they made the tuxedo pants look more like mariachi pants) or a wide turquoise sheer ribbon, but really liked the subtle elegance of the white and gold pattern so went with it instead. 

What you do:
Sew (or use strong glue to attach) the ribbon down the side seam of your pants. Done and done!

I love how the white on white makes it actually look like a classic tuxedo pant! Though I'm still really tempted to make another pair with white and turquoise.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DIY: Galaxy Dress (or, the art of persistence)

What do you do when you have a DIY method that you've tried twice and hasn't turned out how you wanted (i.e. bleach), and a dress that you've tried to alter three times and still hasn't turned out how you wanted (see below)? Throw them both together into one beautiful mess of a project, of course!

It seems every blogger ever has their own method of DIY'ing Christopher Kane's galaxy print from his resort 2011 collection. And remember this dress?

I mean, come on! How could you not want a print like this??

Here's mine, adapted from all the tutorials listed above.

What you need:
Black dress
Bleach in a spray bottle
Fabric/acrylic paint in various colors
Something to flick and sponge paint with

What you do:
1) Lay your dress out flat, and spritz it with bleach in a fairly random pattern, concentrating on some areas more than others, etc. Cheeze alert: the point here isn't to be orderly, but to embrace the entropy of the galaxy!
Kinda too short, kinda too doll-esque dress I picked up on a whim at Forever21 a few years back.

2) After a few minutes, scrunch the dress up and spritz once more.

3) Once the colors are to your satisfaction, wash your dress and dry it.
I only wanted one part of the skirt and some of the bodice to be galaxy, but don't be afraid to go crazy on the whole dress!

4) Flick, splatter, sponge, squish, and drag paint over the dress. Again, move towards chaos!

5) Fly yourself to the moon.
 Still a bit short to wear with just tights, but with leggings or black jeans underneath I love it!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

More DIY Hints

It's been a stressful past couple days with school, and apparently DIY'ing has become my new (time- and life-consuming) de-stressor. So here's another hint about something I've got in the works! That is, once I decide which trim to use...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wild Hair

Quick, someone convince me not to do something crazy with my hair!

I'm loving all the ombre, neon pink, rainbow, colored highlights, even pastel colors we've been seeing on the runway. I don't think my potential employers would be as enthusiastic about it as me though.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yellow Means Spring is Here!

What is it with me and yellow recently?

Hint, hint, upcoming DIY, hint, hint.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Break 2012!

Okay, I admit it, I've totally been slacking. But that's because I've been relaxing here all week:

I've been in Florida since Sunday, visiting family over spring break. My favorite trip was to the Ringling Brother's art museum (who knew they liked Rubens so much??), including an absolutely incredible miniature circus display which was done by one guy over the course of 55 years. I also went to my very first (spring training) major league baseball game! There was also of course some kayaking and just sitting around on the beach. I even got to read a whole book! Just for fun!

Doesn't get much better right? My spring break really has been amazing thus far, and I'm really sad that it's back to reality (and my thesis work) tomorrow :(

Sunday, March 18, 2012

DIY: Easy Computer Case Update

I told you I had a ton of upcoming DIY's! The clear computer case I bought two years ago has been through a lot with me, and it's beginning to show...
Scratches, and marks, and dents, oh my!

And then I saw this beautiful website.

Spend 30 bucks on a new case, or buy some spray paint and a sharpie and just do it myself? Is that even a question? All the cases above would be super easy to DIY (circle sponge paint spotter, bits of color painted over with white, cup rim dipped in white paint, sharpie and spray paint), but I was most inspired by the last one. Plus, it only took like a half hour of actual work time (minus waiting around for it to dry)! 

What you need:
Clear computer case
Spray paint
(Note: there are a million and a half methods you could use, this is just how I did mine - be creative!)

What you do:
1) Sharpie the design of your choice onto the inside of the case.

2) Spray paint the entire inside of the case. Make sure your put down newspaper or cardboard so your school doesn't kill you for graffiti-ing the brick. (I didn't spray paint the bottom case piece since I didn't want the heat from the computer melting the paint or something - I figured the screen doesn't generate that much heat so it'd be okay).

3) Rock out.

Also, in case you were wondering (no pun intended), this is the view from where I'm "working." Florida is seriously the best. More on this tomorrow!

DIY: Giraffes on Parade Scarf

I could have purchased this scarf at Target for a mere $15.

Neon pink with an all-over giraffe print? Yes please!

But noooooooo, I couldn't justify spending that much on a tiny strip of sartorial frivolity. (Yeah, I don't get my brain and its logical inconsistencies either sometimes.) Soooooo I decided to make it myself.

What you need:
Long piece of pink cloth such as linen (I sewed two strips of fabric together - more on this later)
Black fabric paint
Paintbrush (kind of optional, but convenient)
Foam board
A "handle" of some kind

What you do:
1) Trace the outline of whatever shape or animal you want (woolly mammoths, robots, or koalas, anyone?*) onto your foam board and cut out.

2) Attach your "handle" to one side of your foam board stamp, keeping in mind which way you want your zombie or kitten to face when you print it. I used rolled up cardboard, but use your imagination.

3) Paint black paint all over your foam shape, then place down on your fabric. You'll probably have to use your fingers to push down the extremities of the "stamp" especially if there are a million limbs like my giraffe.

4) Lift the stamp off. If you want, go back with a paintbrush to fill in all the areas your stamp might have missed. I left mine like they were since the blotchiness looked giraffe-like anyways.

5) Repeat until you've got yourself a herd, including on the back side of your fabric if you want.
Looks very Ralph Lauren, huh?

6) Notice that the two strips of fabric you bought (on two separate days) are actually neither the same color, nor the same weight linen.
It's a slight difference, but definitely there.

7) Shrug your shoulders and sew them together anyways. Use some FrayCheck if not using a knit fabric.

8) Wear to the beach! (pictures of final product forthcoming, once I'm actually at the beach...)

*Credit to my friend Ben for the koala suggestion