Sunday, October 8, 2017

It finally happened.

Since February 2016, I've wanted to make a skirt Kelly Ripa had worn on Live with Kelly. I was tired of just thinking about this skirt that was never going to make itself and I was never going to find it in a store, at least not in one I could afford a button on one of the shirts sold. So I ordered some fabric from Etsy (not the same as in this blog post) that was coming from India. I'm always leery to get fabric online if I am not able to feel it or see it first to make sure it works for my design. Reminder: I need to study fabrics more and which ones work for what design. But it turned out great and I'm in love with it, although it took much longer than I thought and even the tracking thought.

This was a new McCall's pattern. The difficulty level of the pattern was low, it is essentially a wrap skirt with just a hook/eye closure. Leave it to me to screw it up. I ended up cutting the pattern out wrong on the fabric, so some panels of the skirt were backwards. Usually, when you cut out a pattern, you need 2 pieces of each side (front/back bodice, front/back leg). Although this one you cut one piece of fabric per pattern piece. Oh well, no biggie. As Tim Gunn would say, I 'made it work.'

I take inspiration from everything around me. My children, the fall colors, my husband. But I take my style inspiration from people like Katie Holmes, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kelly Ripa. Since they are not in my life daily (Live with Kelly & Ryan does not count), I look to my friends as well for inspiration and ideas. Who do you draw inspiration from?


I can't wait to get started on my next piece. When I was in Joann's Fabrics last time, I walked past this galaxy cotton print that stood out to me. It's so beautiful. It's a mixture of stars, galaxy colors (purple, blue, orange) and some smaller planet looking shapes. Stay tuned for that creation!


Friday, September 29, 2017

Flower stamping.

When I went to the Fiber Arts Festival this past summer, I saw different dying techniques and stamping that I wanted to try. I knew that you could use tea to dye fabrics, but I never thought of using flowers to get a print. It's become a new favorite technique.

Since it's the beginning of fall, there aren't very many flower options right now. I did manage to find some mum like daisies in the floral area at Wal-Mart - why buy expensive flowers that you're just going to smash up? This bouquet was only $3 and worked perfectly. Since I like how this turned out, I might splurge and buy some roses or tulips next time. Or during the summer, cut some lilacs off a bush to try. Can you image how that one will smell? Heavenly!

I placed the fabric on each side of the flower and laid it on a cement paver to hit with a hammer. If you don't want the print on each side of the fabric, you could use wax paper on the side where the hammer will hit. Each side turned out pretty great and would work perfectly if you want to do a border.

The juices from the base of the flower and stem didn't turn out as pretty as the flower petals themselves, but they still gave a cool light green color. I turned the flowers to the side, put them on their top and hit them with a pushing out motion so they would try to fan out like petals.

Overall, I'm pleased with how it turned out. I would love to buy a couple bouquets and smash them on the full skirt all over. I'm not a huge fan of a big border at the bottom of a skirt - but I wouldn't mind it at the bottom of a flowy dress or floor length. Or a border would be nice on the bottom and cuff of a blouse. That's what I'll be working on in the next few weeks.

It's a good thing I can always get flowers from the grocery store or flower shop. I seem to come up with big plans during the winter when I'm cooped up inside. Stay tuned for these one of a kind floral pieces. Each stamp will be unique and not like anything else.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Every ring tells a story. Every ring is a work of art. I remember where I got each of these. Of course I have some jewelry that I can't remember where I bought it or who I got it from - don't tell the husband that. He thinks every piece in my closet is special, but I've been known to play favorites.

On my pointer is a ring I bought at the Fargo street fair a few years ago. It's a teal bead wrapped in wire. I had a brown bead one just like it but the wire started to poke into my finger and over time got pushed to the back of my jewelry drawer.

Then the gold stone ring is from Charlotte Russe a few years back. It came with 2 other stacked rings that I'm not as fond of. The braided band is different than the other ones, which might be why I like it more. Check them out here.

The next big cocktail ring with green stone I got at a thrift store. My absolute favorite is wearing it with purple. I love the color combination of green and purple. Since they are both warm jewel tone colors, they compliment each other.

The small gold band below the cocktail ring is most important to me. It's my grandma's wedding band. My husband wears my grandpa's as his wedding band. My grandma passed away in 2014. She was a big part of my love for style. As long as I can remember she wore pearls.

Going down my middle finger is a gold heart midi-ring I got at Forever 21. That store goes back and forth for me with what they have. I know that a lot of people don't shop there because of their cheaply made clothes or jewelry that tarnishes right away. I don't mind buying a $5 ring that I wear a handful of times. I understand the stuff won't be passed down to my grand children. F21

The next 2 stacking rings I just bought at Clothes Mentor as an impulse purchase. They were at the counter and I threw them on the pile of things I was buying. I wear them often and stack them up.

To be honest, I don't remember where I got this big stone ring. I do a lot of my shopping at Clothes Mentor, so I'm pretty sure it was there. They have such a great selection of everything you are looking for. I haven't been there in a while and I'm sure my discount coupon is about to expire. I need to go there soon.

On my ring finger, I used to shop on this app called Vinted for gently used clothes and jewelry. That's where I got this flower ring. It's quite small and can only be worn as a midi-ring, both on my ring finger or pinky.

The next ring is another stacking ring from Clothes Mentor. I think there was a mix of 4 different rings.

The next ring came from my grandma again. It's her grandchildren ring with my 2 brothers. I always loved that my birthday is in April and the birthstone is a diamond. My grandma always loved to tell me that this stone was a cubic zirconia, not a diamond. It didn't matter, she loved the ring and I love wearing it now to remind me of her.

The thin ring below the birthstone ring is another stacking ring in the combo from Clothes Mentor.

The next ring with the small rhinestone I got from the antique store in Moorhead. I've actually found several different things there that I've loved. Another one of my favorites is the vintage necklace from a post a few weeks back. Need a refresher? I would to look for a small pill box hat next time I go. They are having a sale this weekend on the booths.

This next knot ring I bought online from Kate Spade. It arrived in such a big box hat seemed a little crazy for this teeny tiny ring. The ring is adjustable and I love wearing it on any finger.

The last ring on my ring finger has a dangling A for my son, August. I bought this ring in California on a trip with my husband to see his sisters. We went to a massive antique store and I found this small ring in one of the cases. It's a little crazy to think that in this big store with millions of antique things, I found a small itty bitty ring that means so much to me.

Finally, on my pinky ring is a vintage green stone with a diamond in the center. My grandma got this ring as an engagement ring. She ended up not marrying him, but kept the ring. I'm so thankful she didn't marry him because I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have this amazing ring. It truly is a beautiful piece.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

That crown though!

On Sunday I went to a Miss pageant for the first time at NDSU. Since I've never been to a Miss pageant, I didn't know what to expect, so I went into it with an open mind. From all my years (Wow - I feel old) as a little girl watching Miss America on TV, I knew there at least had to be an evening gown event. That's what I was most excited to see. My model from Project Fargo a few weeks back, Lizzie, was the reigning Miss West Fargo and I knew she would be there in the most beautiful dress. The red velvet rhinestone dress was perfection. I went with a good friend, Desiree who also knew Carly, of the contestants in the competition. Congrats on Miss Red River Valley!

As soon as the teens and misses (and little girls - how adorable were they?) walked out, I was drawn in. Each one wore a different style black dress that was simple and classic. Carly's was my favorite; a short black dress with sheer panels at the bottom. They did their talent, spoke about world peace (or another platform) and had a lifestyle & fitness section of the competition. Fast forward through those and it was the evening gown event that I had been waiting for!

The black dress with white side detailing, the royal blue strapless dress and the white two piece mermaid gown were some memorable ones. Carly's final dress was blue and had some rhinestones that were so beautiful. Not only were the dresses stare-worthy, but can we talk about those crowns? Even sitting towards the back of the room, I could see them sparkle. Is it bad that I wanted to go all Miss Congeniality on them and rip one off? She's beauty and she's grace, well - I got a little bit of the beauty at least.

Dressing up in gowns and flawless make-up kinda made me want to be Miss America! At the end of the night, it was exactly what I thought Miss America would be like, only in a much smaller scale. I wouldn't mind going to another pageant, it was fun to remember being a little girl and looking up to beauty queens. After all, don't we all want world peace?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Capsule Collection: Is it worth it?

A capsule collection. It's all the rage right now. You want to try it out. But, is it worth it? I studied my closet and looked at what others consider a capsule collection and here's what I found out.

A capsule collection makes sense in theory. You have 10-12 pieces in your wardrobe. That's it. No more, no less. Well, to be fair, I did not include things that are necessary; like, pajamas, socks, underwear or any sweatpants I may or may not own. You have fewer things to wash and put away. With only 12 pieces, you have over 100 different combinations you could choose from. It's easy and simple, right?

The capsule collection I compiled is stuff that I would wear on a day to day basis. Comfortable pieces that can transition to another outfit. They can be worn to work or to your son's football game. Outfits during the winter and outfits during the summer. Seems like a no-brainer. So why am I not ready to empty out more than 95% of my closet?

My Capsule Collection:
wrap dress
skinny jeans
black pumps
white blouse
flare/trouser jeans
a fun t-shirt
floral skirt
ballet flats
dress pants

Here's my reality. It doesn't work for me. I simply like to experiment with too many different looks. I've been known to rock a harder grunge type style and other days have a more feminine style. I wouldn't have enough pieces to make the feminine style work and the rocker vibe. I have been known to combine both of these styles.

So, you're thinking this might be for you? That's awesome! May I suggest the items I've listed to start your very own capsule collection? I've even got you started on some ways to mix and match them.
Try some of these mix and match styles or come up with some of your own! If you feel good in it, then you're doing something right. Remember, don't put on anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or anything less than fabulous!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fargo Fashion Week : A recap

Well, the first ever Fargo Fashion Week is over and I have to tell you, I'm looking forward to next year. This type of thing does not happen in Fargo, North Dakota, where people do not put fashion first. Our state (as beautiful as it is) does not have the big city living that I crave. There are a handful of 'skyscapers' in the city I live. So having something that is large scale fashion excites me. Sometimes, it feels like I am the only one in this city that is fueled by fashion. It's good to see that there are so many in our city that came out to enjoy the runway.

I went on Wednesday and Friday nights, and I'm disappointed I didn't go more. On Tuesday night they had the winners of Project Fargo show their collections and I saw some pictures of the make-up from Thursday night that was awesome.

Some of my favorite looks came from Kittsona in downtown Fargo and The Black Frame from Grand Forks. Shaunda Malone, from Minneapolis, MN also showed her hip-hop collection that I was impressed with. She had so many details on each piece that the next one shown was even better than the last. My favorite of hers was a purple suit with a circle skirt that looked like it was made out of scuba neoprene.

I was really inspired by this shorts romper with a long open skirt from The Black Frame. It's perfect for the summer and for any body type. It shows leg and covers my mama booty. I'm writing this down in my creative journal as something to work on for next summer. I'll have to find the best print (of course) on lightweight fabric.

Everyone that knows me, knows I love a good jumpsuit. I have a good handful of them hanging in my closet. A lesson taken from Stacy London. Well, Kittsona did not disappoint. This red/burgundy jumpsuit would be perfect for a holiday party or your regular Tuesday at work.

If you're debating about whether you should attend next year or sad you missed a day, like I did, don't worry - Fargo Fashion Week will be back next year. So, mark your calendar and be ready for a girls night, 5 nights in a row!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fashion Week: First Night

When I woke up this morning, I put on the outfit I had laid out the night before. I put it on at 5:00 AM thinking I would wear it to the first night of the first ever Fargo Fashion Week later tonight. As I walked around work today, I thought, 'Why haven't I worn this before? It works so well together.' For the first time, I wore a sweater over a dress. I've always liked the thought of a sweater over a dress, but never really thought I had the right pieces to pull it off. Turns out I was wrong - one of the first times for that as well!

Some of my favorite color combinations are; pink and gray, black and cream, orange and navy and blush and gray.  I remembered I had a blush colored slip-like dress that I could layer under a gray sweater that I usually always layer something under anyhow (a polka dot blouse, a white tee or a pink tank). Throw on some vintage brooches with my nude pumps and the look is complete.

The truth is, this look is just as easy as jeans and a sweatshirt. Don't believe me? I went to Pinterest to find other similar looks that are easy and worth a try. Long sweaters, crop sweaters, long dresses, knee length dresses, mini dresses, it all works. I'm not sure about the mini-dress and sweater yet, just because my legs would be cold in the crisp fall North Dakota mornings. But having a sweater over a dress, gives just the right amount of cozy and while keeping your legs cool.

So while I may not be attending the first night of Fashion Week (slightly disappointed), I'm loving this look for fall. I'll have to start searching my closet for a maxi dress and sweater I could wear next. Fall is coming, is your wardrobe ready?