Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Georgia Monday: Georgian Wine

 Georgian grapes (Saperavi) in my parents' backyard in Hendersonville, Tn, U.S.A.

About 5-6 years ago my parents immigrated to the U.S. from the country of Georgia.  Guess what they smuggled brought in their suitcase?  Grapevine rootstocks!  Yes, they brought grapevine rootstocks, each carefully wrapped in soft, moist piece of cloth and tightly packed in a suitcase.  The suitcase got delayed on the way, and we had given it up for lost, thinking our devious plan was discovered by the U.S. customs, but no...  it was safely delivered by the airport authorities to my folks' new home in Hendersonville, Tn.  Talk about forbidden fruit.  By the way, several years later "that" fruit yielded sweetest tasting red wine.  Could this possibly be the first ever Georgian wine actually made in the U.S.from native rootstocks?  I would love to know.

According to Dr. McGovern's (University of Pennsylvania Museum) research in 2006, origin of wine was narrowed to a region in now- days Georgia.  Records include ceramic jars (with traces of tartaric acid) from Neolithic sites in Shulaveri, now-days Georgia from about 8000 BC. 
Without farther boring you with more facts, I would like to ask you watch these two You-Tube videos (they are short and enjoyable).


my son, continuing the ancient tradition, in Hendersonville, Tn (2010)

My own fondest childhood memories are visiting my Grandparents in their village in Imereti, Georgia and  helping them stomp grapes in satsnaxeli with my bare feet.  They'd even let me taste machari  - which is grape juice before it turns into wine.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Proenza-like rope/cord DIY

 vintage kelly-style bag with Proenza-like handle available on my Etsy

I am secretly hoping I won't sell this purse so that I can actually use it myself.  I'm pretty pleased how it turned out (if I do say so myself). 
The old handle looked pretty sad.  However, I could NOT not buy the purse itself for its beautiful shape and color (bought it at Goodwill of course).  


To update the handle I used blue bungee cord (Lowe's), neon orange rope (any hardware store would have these in various colors), neon orange flat shoe lace (not pictured below, but I bought it at Walmart), bright yellow embroidery floss...  (you'll also need masking tape, lighter and hot glue gun).  

I ended up not using the blue embroidery floss pictured above.  Instead I used blue cord from this kids crafting set from Hobby Lobby:

I think the photos below are pretty much self-explanatory.  Please let me know if you have any questions.


Every summer my parents bring my little (well, not so little anymore) nephews (three boys!) down from New Jersey for about 2-3 weeks (they stay with my folks, which is very close to our house).  We celebrate 4th of July together and it has become our favorite yearly tradition.  The other day, we did a little impromptu entertaining Jackson Pollock style.  Kids wanted to paint on the sidewalk, but unfortunately I was out of sidewalk paint.  I used two sets of WASHABLE craft paint from Walmart (about $5 each set).  They just squirted and splattered paint all over the sidewalk and seemed to really-really enjoy themselves.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

DIY: painted shoe soles tutorial

As I mentioned before my neon soled shoe DIY was similar to my red soled Louboutins project

What I used:
Forever 21 peep-toe lace-ups (actually, I also updated the original laces with a ribbon from Michael's)
Neon Yellow acrylic craft paint by Plaid from Walmart (you can add a little bit of bright green to this mix)
Mod-Podge (I used Hard Coat finish)
medium or large flat crafter's brush

I painted the soles in 3 layers of neon paint (letting it dry in between).  Then, sealed the deal with a coat of Mod-Podge.  That's it!  Have fun!

 2-3 layers of acrylic paint

a layer of Mod-Podge (Mod-Podge will dry clear)

And in case you're wondering how my red soled Louboutins are holding up, here is a current picture (granted, as a busy Soccer Mom I don't wear them too often of course, plus I have to drive everywhere): 

 click here for the tutorial

I was so excited when I got my first International order on my little Etsy shop (Georgia Blue Boutique).  This adorable faux snake skin purse was shipped all the way to Australia this week!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Saw the Light (the Neon Light)

I've been totally obsessed with neon colors lately.  Especially in combination with neutral colors and different textures like wood, straw, canvas.  Also, it's fun combining neon with tribal accents.  Not to mention all the juicy neon nail polish that's out there (I'm partial to cheap old Sinful Colors).

I bought this cute little neutral vintage purse at... (you guessed it!) Goodwill.  Its handle was in a terrible shape, so I decided to make an updated handle.  The new handle sort of reminds of Proenza cord and rope bracelets.  I used blue bungee cord (from Lowe's), various other cords in neon colors, and also neon yellow embroidery floss.  This purse is now available on my Etsy.  Please check it out!

available from my Etsy store Georgia Blue Boutique

Also, I had this pair of Forever 21 neutral peep-toe lace-ups (U.S. size 9M).  I updated the laces using sightly darker neutral ribbon from Michael's and painted the soles in almost greenish neon yellow (neon yellow acrylic paint + little bit of apple green).  This DIY project was very similar to my Louboutin red sole DIY.

available from my Etsy store Georgia Blue Boutique

Stumbled upon these neon orange jelly gladiator sandals at....  Goodwill a few weeks ago.  These already SOLD, but still wanted to show you here.


Please visit me on Etsy and spread the word.  You'll find adorable vintage purses, shoes, belts, scarves, jewelry.  I will be soon adding my own handmade too. 

EDIT: here is a picture of an old handle for my "kelly" bag:

I Saw the Light - Johnny Cash (I also like Bill Monroe's rendition, but could not find it on YouTube).
I saw the light, I saw the light.  No more darkness, no more night!

My Blog's First Birthday

Soccer Mom Style is one today (I almost forgot, woops)!  Thank you so much for reading and following this blog.  I was recently telling a friend that I might be going through mid-life crisis and that this blog helps me to understand myself better.  I know it sounds funny, but it's true.  I never understood before how important expressing yourself was.  Thanks so much y'all! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Georgia Monday: kuchmachi (recipe)

Before I tell you what's in this dish, I need to assure you it is absolutely delicious.   This is a Georgian dish called kuchmachi (kooch-mah-chee).  It is made with chicken livers, hearts and gizzards (all sold at Walmart).  If you tried it, you would be hooked. 

meat mixture ingredients:
about 1 lb chicken livers, gizzards and hearts
dash of salt (to add to boiling water)
1 stick of butter (8 Tbsp)
1 large onion, chopped
about 8 oz pomegranate juice

seasoning mixture ingredients:
1 cup shelled walnuts
2-3 garlic cloves
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp dried summer savory
1/4 tsp salt
chili, paprika, curry to taste (dash of each)
cilantro, parsley, oregano to taste (dash of each, but fresh is better of course)
pomegranate seeds for topping (from one small or med pomegranate)

Boil the livers, hearts and gizzards in salted water until tender, about 1 hour, then drain.  In a frying pan melt the butter and add onion.  Add the giblets and the pomegranate juice and simmer on low.  Once pomegranate juice is absorbed/evaporated, cook the giblets until lightly browned.  Coarsely grind.  I usually just chop the giblets once cooled or you can even use a food processor to grind or chop.  Set aside.

Now we are ready to make our magical Georgian seasoning mixture that can make anything taste wonderful ;)
In a food processor (or in a mortar with a pestle, if you want to be totally authentic), grind walnuts and garlic, adding all the ingredients from the seasoning mixture except for the pomegranate seeds.

Mix the meat mixture and the seasoning mixture together and top with pomegranate seeds.  Serve at room temperature.
This dish goes well with corn bread, corn cakes or corn muffins.
But can also be served with Saltine crackers.

It could be a great appetizer or a part of your menu.  Either way, what a great conversation piece.  Make sure to have plenty of gum on hand for all your guests, as this dish is very garlicky (but amazingly delicious). 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lucky So and So

Jessi Arrington is a graphic designer and a founder of Workshop.  Her happy outlook is simply contagious.  Could not agree with her more when she compares thrift-shopping to treasure-hunting.  Check out her style blog Lucky So and So.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

DIY: painted armor knuckle ring

This is a second part of my yesterday's DIY.  This step is totally optional and unnecessary.   
Simply stated, spray paint with white primer, spray paint in metallic gold, sand with fine sand paper (of course allowing to dry after each step).

Do you like my nails?  I thought that neon yellow was a bit too bright, so I improvised using Sally Hansen's Commander in Chic to create the look above.  Left my toe-nails bright yellow though.

Both pictures (above and below) are taken before I cleaned up the mess around my nails.  I usually paint my nails at night.  Then in the morning, I gently rub them with a washcloth in the shower. 

neon yellow - Sinful Colors' Neon Melon from Walgreen's ($1.99)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DIY: armor knuckle ring out of elbow pipe connector from Lowe's

Perhaps you  remember my obsession with knuckle ring DIY's here and here?  Well, those were easy in comparison with this one.  I had to cheat and ask my Dad to help me with this one.  We started out with a copper 45 degree 1/2" elbow pipe connector from Lowe's for $1.60...

45 degree elbow 1/2" pipe connector from Lowe's

Sorry, since my Dad basically made me this ring I don't have step by step photos.  I drew with a sharpie where I wanted him to cut and he did it for me using his little tool-bench in his garage.  However, I did try to make it more my own by painting the ring.  More photos coming tomorrow (the photos of how I painted this copper ring into another metallic finish).
Are you into hardware jewelry?

With so many amazing DIY blogs out there, I'm sure someone has already tried this before.  Please let me know if you're aware of any, and I'll link up.  Thanks!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a case of the blues

Came across these beautiful shorts with blue china print at Goodwill the other day.  Of course the shorts followed me home.  I wore them with my old blue and white striped top from Target and neutral accessories.  

blue china print shorts and neutral clutch - Goodwill
striped top - Target
sleeveless neutral vest - New York & Co.
neutral wedges - Ross
wooden bangles - JoAnns with neon yellow painted by me

Also, purchased this Asian blue coat-dress with golden characters on it.  Not sure yet how to style it...

blue decorative rope with a tassel from JoAnns as a belt (or use it as a necklace)
coat-dress and shorts - Goodwill

Walmart denim ballet flats with thrifted ear-clips as shoe-clips

Vivienne Tam tie-dye top - Stein Mart (last year)

How about you, do you like blue china prints?  I wonder if the trend was inspired by Li Xiaofeng's work - Beijing artist who creates clothing pieces from traditional Chinese ceramics.

an excellent trend report from Style File

see more works by Li Xiaofeng here


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