I am still alive.

I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but I survived the Holidays.

Phew, I think I need to just take December off, it’s been over a month since I posted! I dream of the day when my employment will not revolve around Christmas… that hasn’t happened since high school. Until that day, you will just have to give me some grace.

In better news, it is a goal of mine to blog 52 times this year. This isn’t a promise of once a week, on those busy weeks I will always choose husband time over crafty blog time, but 52 total. I’ve got some catching up to do, but I’ve got some built up. I didn’t post over the past month, but I did take some pictures!

To start, this is what is currently on my plate. I’m making a wholesale catalog for the previously mentioned and deeply loved Yobel Market. For these photos it was below freezing or close to it, but these volunteer models were rockstars as we make something to sell the spring/summer jewelry, scarves and skirts. I’m excited to get into some creative photography again!

Yobel Market catalog photos

 

 

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Colorado Style

I recently read an article that said Colorado Springs is the second least fashionable city in America. While I feel the need to fight and say Colorado Springs isn’t less fashionable than a place like Milwaukee, (I feel like being a fit city has to account for something, I saw far fewer overweight sweat suites here than I did in my time in Wisconsin) I won’t claim this is a remotely fashionable city.

I like to think I do my part to raise the bar occasionally, but sometimes simple statement is better. This is a perfect example of looking like I belong in Colorado, but not succumbing to the masses. Maybe it’s just the red pants, but it works, I think:

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(faux) chambray – thrifted. Vest – Merrell, from my pro-deal days. Pants: Marshalls, Boots – 6pm. Necklace – Yobel Market
 

This outfit is perfect for all the random fall-esque events you can do out here in Colorado. Campfires, Manitou Springs people watching, bike brewery tours, you know, the usual.

DIY Dino Sweater

The other night I thought to myself,

“I want a Dinosaur shirt.”

Then I remembered the random old sweater I got for free (clothing swap), and a pile of felting wool that I’ve had for, oh, 5+ years?  The lesson to take from this post: it’s OK to never throw things away! Because then you can make rad little things like a Dino Sweater:

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(My face is a tad blurry… I think I’m OK with that.)

What You Need:

  • Sweater/shirt (Note, mine was a little chunky of a knit for felting, but it worked for now. I’d recommend a smooth knit/woven for best results.)
  • Cardboard
  • Pen/pencil
  • Exacto knife
  • Felting wool
  • Felting needle/kit

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I got this wool years ago at a cool little store on Etsy that is no longer operating. There are ENDLESS color options on Etsy, as well as natural dyes and everything else. I’m not positive how much wool this was, but I’d guess around 2 oz? It goes a long way. Of course, you can probably find it at your local craft store as well.

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I hand sketched this dino from a couple different stencils I found online, keeping features I liked and adding some I wanted. It took a few tries.

Also, for felting I recommend staying away from intricate designs (especially at the start), because the nature of it is to be a little loose and lumpy. That partly influenced which dino I went with (no attempting intricate spikes for this girl!). I also now get to have nerdy conversations about the Brontosaurs vs Brachiosaurus.

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Place your stencil on your sweater. Keep in mind the length of your sweater… this one is a little short on me so the dino is higher than I was thinking in the end, but still awesome of course.

I used a little gaf tape from my job to keep it in place, then reinforced it with a couple pins to keep the sweater from stretching and deforming.

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Here’ s what my felting needle looks like. You can’t see the little barbs at the end of the needle, but they serve to “tangle” the wool and turn it into felt. Mine also came with a nice little foam square to put behind the needle so you can felt through fabric.

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Start placing a layer of wool, not too thick, over your stencil. Take your needle and start pushing through the wool and the sweater.

Make sure you have something protective behind the sweater! If you are doing this on your lap use a thick magazine or something else dense or you will stab yourself in the leg repeatedly!

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Felting Dino Sweater

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Basically, that’s it! Continue to tuck in along the edges, add more will to places that seem thin. After you have it all filled up remove the stencil an do any touching up along the edges that you need to.

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Fair warning, I haven’t washed this sweater yet. I’d recommend it gentle on cold, or hand washing warm. Depending on how well the wool fused with your sweater it could come off easily, and warm hot water can felt the wool even further.

I’d say it’s worth it for a hand made Dino Sweater!

DIY Dino Sweater

 

Fight a cold, make some great food.

Tis the season… for getting colds. Normally if I get a good night’s sleep my immune system is a decent fighter. But apparently it is no match for changing weather. It’s finally getting regularly cold, and we had our first sticking snow. I did my best to hold back my sarcastic responses to everyone saying it’s way too early for snow. My whole life, in Michigan and Colorado, the first snow has been in October (or even September!)

Speaking of Michigan, nothing is best for feeling sick like your favorite Michigan tee and some unnecessarily bright pants.

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I’ve never been one to follow unnecessary rules. And I’m wearing bright colors year round.

T-shirt – MichiganAwesome, Cardi – Mossimo (thrifted), Scarf – Yobel Market (Sak Saum), Jeans – Rue21 (swapped), boots – 6pm

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Clothing aside, my husband came up with the BEST idea recently. We like to make random treats with Crecent rolls when they are on sale. Sometimes just ham and cheese, sometimes throw in some asparagus or broccoli. But this time I had some celebratory brie, and put together with some apple slices, walnuts, and top with honey….

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…wrap them up…

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And bake them at 350 for around 20 minutes. Watch it closely, depending on how much stuff you have inside it may take shorter or longer. Ours were still a tiny bit soft on the inside, partly due to being undercooked I think, but also partly do to gooey wonderful melty brie!

Wondering why I don’t have a finished photo? Because we ate them all. You’ll have to trust me on this one. WINNER of an appetizer (or splurging dinner).

Simplified recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Crescent Rolls
  • 1 apple
  • Brie
  • Walnuts
  • Honey

Unroll your rolls, slice your apple and brie, place in the open roll, top with honey and walnuts, roll up. Bake at 350 for around 20 minutes, watching carefully.

First knit of the year.

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The past year has been… well, busy. I am well aware I say that quite a lot, but looking back at what I did and didn’t do, it really has been quite a year. I recently decided to make some intentional changes (specifically in my yes-saying) to be sure I am doing more of the things I want to be doing.

So, one of those things I didn’t do last year and want to be intentional about doing this year is knitting/crocheting.

Often my crafting process goes like this:

“Man I could use x. I could make x by doing this and this and this. Oh, and I have this and this and this to make it with. Am I too busy? Probably. Let’s do it anyway.”

So, I wanted a headband, I remembered I had some leftover yarn from my super chunky scarf, and got knitting.

What you need:

  • An idea
  • Yarn
  • 3 knitting needles at least close to the same size.
  • knowledge of knitting….
  • Fleece
  • Embroidery thread or small yarn
  • Embroidery needle

I’m not one for knitting patterns, I can’t read them for the life of me. I know how to knit, purl, and get the cable knit look, so I did all of those things. Basically I knit a row of 10, flipped, then purled a row of 10 so the knit look was always on the outside. I knit/purled 10 rows total, and on the 11th (first) I did the cable stitch. I knit 2, pulled 3 off on a separate needle, knit the next 3, the knit the pulled off 3 in line, and knit 2 more. (If you don’t know how to cable stitch, then I’d recommend going somewhere other than that terrible description to find out, it’s actually fairly simple.) And, I simple did that until it was long enough.

I was a little worried at first because the cabling makes it look a little funny and warped and not flat, as you can see on the left half. I wasn’t sure how the fleece backing would help.

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But, lo and behold, it definitely did! Look how much flatter and straight it is when the fleece is on the back!

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To measure the fleece, I just laid out my knitted headband on the fleece, gave a good estimated measure, and cut from there. It ended up being about perfect.

I used some thin yarn (you can use embroidery floss here too) and an embroidery needle. Just be sure to not send the needle all the way to the outside of your headband unless you want that embroidered look on the outside as well. I just went through the layers of yarn, but not outside the black thread isn’t visible.

I also kept a row of knitting just outside the fleece, so all you saw when I was wearing it was the knit, not the black fleece.

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Then, put the edges together in some sort of janky fashion. Mine looks a little rough, but it’s the back, so I don’t really care.

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Here is just the big ole scarf that I where once it gets remotely cold because it is so so comfy.

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And now with matching chunky headband! It’s a bit goofy and 80’s… but who doesn’t love the 80’s?

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Beginning of Fall and Applesauce

It’s been more eventful lately, and I’ve taken photos… so I just might be posting more in the near future!

To start, I talked in my last post about how I am going to occasionally post more outfit photos. Well, twice in a row, I might start pushing “occasionally”… but it’s becoming Fall, and new seasons are so much fun!

For one of those perfect sunny and 65 days:

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Jacket: Guess – second hand, Tank: J.Crew – swapped, Jeggings: Mossimo – thrifted, Belt: Marshall’s clearance, watch: Thrifted, Necklace: Yobel Market
 

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This is one of my all time favorite necklaces. Simple, geometric, just a great little accent.

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And I was so proud of myself for wearing my hair down (I lasted the entire day!), I took another photo. However, when getting my picture taken (even if I am taking them of myself) I get a little weird.

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In other news I made a GIANT batch of applesauce for us, and we are almost finished with it. If you want your house to smell amazing and celebrate fall, do this recipe. Super simple (besides the whole peeling and slicing apples part), and it’s worth it. Go here for the recipe I used, and maybe wander around, because I love their blog.

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And topped it all off with some sunset reading next to my thriving tomato plant with this super great applesauce. Including a vintage pyrex bowl, vintage silver spoon (from my grandma) and vintage lawn chair. IMG_0990

Oh, hey.

I won’t pretend I’m good at this regular blogging thing. The funny part is I’ve got a pile of photos/projects that I’ve been wanting to post. Taking photos seems to be the easy part, my long-winded writing is holding me back. Too bad, I’m probably not going to get much briefer. (Briefer is a word?!)

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I’ve decided:

I’m going to start posting outfits. 

(dum dum dummm…) I feel a little weird about it. This isn’t really a fashion blog, nor do I want it to become one. But, in all honesty, how I dress has become a significant form of creativity for me. Not that I wear crazy stuff all the time, but the experimentation of form and color, and pushing boundaries on those bold days, it really has been a creative outlet for me in those busier times when I can’t make stuff. Also, I am a huge thrifter/second-hander/swapper/clearance racker (i.e., I don’t spend much on clothing), and I’d love to show that you are limited to looking frumpy when you do so! Look good at a fraction of the price.

So, let’s start it off, shall we?

Summer Bike Ride & Beer

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Tank: Swapped, J.Crew. Skirt: Swapped, Mata Traders. Necklace: Thrifted. Sandals, Chaco.

I live in Colorado, Coloradoans like bikes and beer. They go hand in handlebar. This outfit is great for those absurdly hot sunny days we have (even 80’s late september, days after it snowed in the mountains!) You could find some cute shoes, but the casualness of this outfit combined with Colorado’s love of Chaco made me think some classic flippy-floppies were needed.

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Don’t you love the little chain details on this shirt? A couple of them are missing, but hey, I got it for practically free at my local closet swap!  Also, a note on my nails… they are super brittle and I’ve been biting them for years. I’m having some current success growing them out, but nail polish is saving them by covering the junk that get’s under them in minutes. However, I get a little lazy with polish and let it chip and just wear whatever fun color I feel like, regardless of outfit. I think it’s the 6 year old in me.

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As I said, don’t forget the beer. Normally I’m a loyal Colorado beer drinker (we have so many great ones…) but I picked up some brews while in New Mexico that I can’t buy up here. This is a tasty saison from Santa Fe Brewing Company. They have some great ones, check them out if you get the chance!

There you are, be proud, I did an outfit. Awkward ending.