Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Beginnings

It's been a rough past six months for me, to put it gently. And it's been really hard not to compare myself and then start feeling inadequate and then getting down on myself and on and on into a downward spiral. In short, it's been hard for me to find things to be thankful for, feel loved by, and feel accomplished about recently.

Soooo, I'm going to be taking time each week to fix at least one of those, by listing 10 things I'm thankful for each Thursday (yay alliteration!). And you can read here (and here and here and here... and pretty much her entire blog...) what Gala Darling, one of my favorite bloggers of all time, says about being thankful. She's pretty damn awesome, amirite?

1) Being chosen to present my thesis work at a small conference in upstate NY, this weekend!!

2) Getting to watch my little savings bank slowly slowly grow closer to my goal (being able to go to reunion!). And on a side note, I'm so glad I've been able to figure out a good budget. It helps!

3) Getting my sewing machine to work (only straight stitch, but hey its better than nothing!) and sewing my first DIY project in months (hint hint)

4) Finding a beautiful library near my apartment. It even has a reading room with a fireplace!

5) Letting go of a few bad influences in my life in favor of fostering some good new ones

6) Finding a beautiful dark wood table at Goodwill and making my apartment finally feel like home!

7) Going for a hike after I woke up feeling really crappy one morning, and getting to stand within ten yards of this handsome fella

8) Figuring out how to bake my very first own pie (raspberry and apple and blackberry yummmm)


10) Discovering that one of my posts has been “GooglePlus”ed almost 17 thousand times... Whatever that means...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DIY: Colorful Upper Finger Rings

If there were an award for ugliest hands, I would totally win. My extreme appendages are generally stubby (earning me the nickname "She Who Walks On Squares" in high school - but that's another story for another day), and my fingers are no exception. They're also much more wrinkly than my 23 years of age would imply. Yay.

However, I can't help but love rings (see here and here...). I wear them probably three times as much as any other kind of jewelry. And when fiddling around with wire the other day, I thought of this DIY. Enjoy!

What you need:
Embroidery floss or thread
Glue (something like E600)
Round-nosed pliers

What you do:
1) Gently bend wire into a circle that looks roughly like it would fit around your first knuckle. Try on and adjust as necessary. (There are ways to do this much more scientifically and precisely, but guestimation worked just fine for me!) Cut any extra wire away.

2) Tie a piece of embroidery floss onto the ring and wrap around where the wire ends meet, gluing as you go. I chose to only wrap a small bit, but it might be cool to wrap the whole ring!
I like wearing them with the embroidery floss on the inside for a super sneaky pop of color :)

3) Model with hands only a mother could love. Drink wine to make yourself feel better.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Caution: Construction Ahead

Hey folks, I'm having some issues getting photos to show up on the site, so give me a couple more days to figure it all out. Sorry for the silence!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Style Inspiration: Pencil Skirts And Graphic Tops

Pencil skirts and casual/graphic tees/sweaters are absolutely going to start happening this season for me. It's the perfect combination of classy and quirky, and I love it. I think the first time I saw this combination was on Kate Bosworth and fell in love immediately with the little owl peeking out of her peplum-ed tweed pencil skirt. And that velvet bow - I die.

Images via: The Budget BabeStripes&SequinsJanuary Lace, Pinterest, Bought by Birdette, Refinery29

Friday, November 16, 2012

DIY Inspiration: Rorschach

As a psychology major, Outsapop Trashion's prediction that everything ink blotty is going to be sooooo in this season makes nerdy-giddy. Probably the easiest DIY's possible. I'm thinking a black and white dress and a statement necklace maybe? Bring it on!

Photos via: LoveMeagan, Sew Petite Gal, Project Runway Allstars

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY: Tribal Poncho Hoodie Shawl... Thing

I really can't figure out what to call this recent mini-trend. Is it a shawl? No, it's got a hood. It's certainly not a hoodie, but it's not exactly a poncho either. Eh, you get the idea. 

Best part of this DIY? No sewing machine required!!

What you need:
Woven tribal print fabric (or an old blanket)
Large-ish needles
A variety of embroidery floss
A couple toggle buttons (not pictured)

What you do:
1) Cut two shapes like this. Make sure they're big enough to fit over your head into a hood.

 2) With wrong sides together (the "pretty sides" facing out), overlock stitch the curved sides of the hood pieces together so that the stitches show on the outside of your hood. Reminds me of a dinosaur :)

Switch embroidery floss colors at random, tying the strands together on the underside of the hood.

3a) Cut a large rectangle of the fabric. I have NO idea how I didn't get a photo of this step so here's a crude mock-up...)

3b) Sew the hood onto the middle of the long edge however you like. I was going for a freeform look so I just used a variety of running stitches and "x" pattern stitches. (Note the stitching on the outside of the hood!)

4) Take that top edge and fold it down so the edges meet in the center; position your toggle buttons (make sure the hooks are both on one side and the buttons on the other!)

5) Glue and/or sew your toggle buttons down. Since they won't be taking much stress, I just used a couple stitches.

6) Done!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Home DIY Inspiration: Decorating With Toys

Don't know what to do with all your old dinosaur set or gumball machine plastic figurines? Besides turning action figures into flower stands, apparently the thing to do is spray paint them a metallic/neon color, then turn them into magnets/necklaces/rings/table decor.

Adore. I'm so breaking out the spray paint tomorrow.

(how cute is the flower headpiece on this elephant??)
(do you see the army men in this photo??)

Photos via: WeSeeRainbowsThreadbanger (x2)Sugar and Cloth, Martha Stewart, PB Teens, HGTV Design, The Sweetest Occasion (and here), The Good Machinery, This Is Colossal, GoHausGo

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Personal Post: On Lost Opportunities

I've been struggling to write this post for the past few days and while I still don't think it's perfect, here's what I've come up with:

I dearly miss my college, the friends I had there and the community, however small, that I built there. And this weekend is our Homecoming. It's my very first homecoming as an alumna, or would have been, as I won't actually get to be there for reasons that are almost entirely my own fault. And it's gotten me thinking.

I've always had this phantom feeling that I've never been entirely in charge of my own life, never really done anything for myself. I sometimes feel more like a balloon pulled along by its string in the wind than a person with agency, a brain, and two legs. I've struggled in the past with making concrete decisions, especially fairly long term and significant ones, I think because I'm afraid of missing other opportunities. Yet suddenly and somewhat ironically I find myself doing just that - unable to attend homecoming, unable to afford big purchases, unable to grab opportunities - because I'm still floating, and that wind is now gone. Call it what you want (inadequacy issues, unmotivated, directionless, etc), it's hard for me to go after what I want in life mostly because I really just have no idea what I want.

And this lead me back "home" to Nashville. The weird thing about being back in my hometown is that more than ever, I feel like a lonely, directionless tourist. My family has moved to a different state, my friends are all over the map, and since I don't have a career trajectory yet, I'm stuck wandering around streets I haven't seen (and frankly haven't wanted to see) since my childhood. I've been ready for the next phase of my life since before I graduated, yet here I still am.

What I'm trying to say is, I need a mentality shift. I may not know where exactly I want to be in 40 years, but I know I want to see my friends in May for reunion. I know I want to be able to afford my own apartment and my own groceries and maybe if I save for a long while, a Chanel bag or something. I know I want a real job. I know I want to keep creating things and improve this blog. And those are the things I need to work towards, the opportunities I need to run after. The little things along the way will take care of themselves.

This isn't a big "I'm changing my entire life TODAY AND NOW AND FOREVER" statement. This is me realizing that baby steps are in fact essential. I'm trying to accept the unknowns and savor where I am right now even if it's not where I want to be.

To cheesily end with a quote:
"If all you can do is crawl, start crawling"