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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

meet Louie - our new puppy

we adopted Louie from a pet adoption center locally.  his mom is a black lab, and we don't know about his dad.  his favorite pastime is eating my flowers and rolling in black mulch.  he still has that precious puppy smell and is totally irresistible!




Thursday, April 21, 2011

inspiration: Prada stripes and Gucci brights

striped tank top - Faded Glory from Walmart
denim jacket - SteinMart
bright blue skirt - thrifted from Goodwill
flatform shoes - American Eagle thrifted from Goodwill
green minaudiere - DIY

coral nails - Sinful Colors' Boogie Nights

thrifted Goodwill skirt

Walmart tank top

thrifted Goodwill shoes


2011 flatform trend - click for source



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

does blogging count?

i usually don't forward chain emails, but i just HAD to share the one i just got from my girlfriend M.  not sure if this is really true, but sounds like right on the money to me!  i wonder if blogging counts as "girlfriend time"???!!!  i think it definitely should!  what's your take on this?

They Teach It at Stanford



In an evening class  at Stanford the last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the  relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head  of  psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best  things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman  whereas for a  woman, one of the best things she could do for her  health was to nurture her relationships with her  girlfriends.  At first everyone laughed,  but he was serious.

Women  connect with each other differently and  provide support systems  that help each other to deal with stress and difficult  life  experiences. Physically this quality “girlfriend time" helps us to  create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression  and can create a general feeling of well being.  Women share  feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They  rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain  things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes.  Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf?
Yes.  But their feelings?  Rarely. 

Women do  it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers,  and evidently that is very good for our health.  He said that  spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health  as jogging or working out at a gym.
 
There's  a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we  are doing  something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends,  we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged—not  true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality  personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical  health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a  gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for  doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky.  Sooooo let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently  it's very good for our health.


any excuse not to exercise is good enough for me.  i'd rather be blogging than jogging!

Monday, April 18, 2011

DIY: red duct-tape striped nautical wedges with rope bows


ahoy, me hearties!  here is me latest DIY project: canvas espadrille wedges (bought at Ross) with red duct-tape stripes, rope bows and jute (or jute-like?) trimming.


what i used:
canvas wedges from Ross (had to buy two pairs since they were relatively inexpensive; the other pair was used to make my cherry shoes)
one 8.25"x10" red duct tape sheet (by Duck brand)
off white decorative rope - about a yard
jute or jute-like trimming (not sure what it really is) - about 1.5 yards
four round wooden beads
hot glue gun, masking tape, scissors, cutting board, xacto knife and a ruler
(all supplies and tools from JoAnns)


i first, cut my duct-tape sheet in 3/4" wide stripes.  then, applied stripes to the shoes as pictured above.


gently trim the excess tape using xacto knife (be careful not to cut into a shoe). 


next, i hot glued my trimming around the shoe using tips from Jessica of What I Wore.  her tips were: not to use too much glue; and start and finish on the inside of the shoe using a diagonal cut to hide the start/stop point (as shown above).

now, it's time to make those rope bows.  before you cut, tape the area you're cutting with masking tape (as shown below):








tie the decorative rope into two bows.  apply small amount of hot glue inside the beads and attach to each end (leaving masking tape on); and then hot glue or hand stitch the finished bows to the front of each shoe.




tips:
make sure to cover inside of your shoe with stripes all the way to avoid this:
woops!
please vote: chic or geek?  (i'm relatively thick-skinned)

EDIT:
since i forgot to take "before" pictures, i searched online and found a photo of what my shoes looked like originally.  i love the look of just natural canvas, but the problem is i already own three pairs of beige wedges...

Naturalizer espadrille wedges at Famous Footwear (i bought mine at Ross)

also, after i had already posted this DIY, i remembered seeing a picture of Blondie in a dress that looks as if it had red duct tape on it.  of course, if you are Debbie Harry you can rock that or even a garbage-bag costume for that matter.  no problem!
Blondie



i'm linking up:
The DIY Show Off

Thursday, April 14, 2011

DIY: Alexander McQueen inspired minaudieres



thanks so much for all who watched the video and/or commented on my previous post.   it means a lot to me.  i feel like so many people here still have no clue what went on (and goes on) in the former USSR.

but back to vanity now...
i seem to be obsessed with minaudieres currently.  the question is:  how in the world can i make these little beauties fit my lifestyle of a busy soccer mom?!  shall i carry one around to my daughter's soccer practice or to my son's baseball game? or perhaps to the grocery store?  hmm...






nails - Sinful Color's See You Soon + Wet n Wild's Party of Five Glitters



skull ring - DIY (skull charm glued to a blank ring)
how i did it:
for this project i bought three sun-glass cases from Ross.  the one with faux snake skin was only $0.49 due to some minor blemishes inside the case.  blank rings are from JoAnns (same as the ones used in my armor ring DIY).  also, i used inexpensive thrifted brooches, skull charms from an old Walmart bracelet; red crystals, green and silver beads for eyes.  just glued everything together with E-6000 glue.









using plier-snips cut the back of the brooch


glue two (or three) rings to the case, face down; then add brooch and/or charms


old skull charms, red crystals, random green and silver beads

using E6000 glue i attached small beads to the back of charms for eyes
see similar minaudieres made by Erica of Honestly WTF and Kristen of  Studs and Pearls.

Alexander McQueen skull knuckle duster whipsnake clutch

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tbilisi massacre of April 9, 1989

I wanted to write an eloquent post about the events of April 9th, 1989.  But I just can't.  Please watch the video, it's only 7 minutes.  I lived in Georgia at that time and could have easily been present at the demonstration.  The total number of deaths was 20 (most killed immediately, some died in the hospital).  These were mostly women...  It  was later explained to us that women are more vulnerable to the chemical gas used by the Soviet Special Forces.
Sorry, the title of this video should read April 9, 1989 (not 1980).


Here is from Wikipedia:
One of the victims of the attack was a 16-year-old girl who tried to get away from the advancing soldiers, but was chased down and beaten to death near the steps of the government building, receiving blows to the head and chest. She was dragged out of the area by her mother who was also attacked and wounded. This particularly violent attack was recorded on video from the balcony a building located on the other side of the avenue.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the existential housewife (DIY: book-clutch)



i could not easily decide on a name for my book-clutch.  among the titles i considered were: my favorite Georgian author, Vazha-Pshavela's Aluda Ketelauri, Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown or The Birthmark, Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, or something of Dostoevsky...
finally, i decided Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus reflects best my current state:  a housewife trapped in a sisyphean curse of domesticity...  talk about a conversation piece.  what would you name your book-clutch?


what i used (all supplies from Joanns):
pappier-mache book
black and gold acrylic paints
bronze paint ( i used Lumiere)
paint crackle
black sharpie
contact paper and xacto knife to make a stencil for my title

first, i applied black acrylic paint.  after it dried, applied a layer of One Step Crackle.  and finally, a layer of Lumiere in bronze. 




inside the clutch is painted in gold acrylic.

using contact paper, xacto knife and black paint i stenciled my title to the cover...  also, drew a Greek pattern with a black sharpie. 




oh, yeah, i think Waiting for Godot would have made a good book-clutch title for me as well...  ;)
see Kate Spade's book-clutches here.

Friday, April 1, 2011

DIY: fringe and zipper embellished purse



i used hot glue gun, zipper trim and 6" black fringe trim to embellish this Ross purse.  the length of your trim depends on the width of your purse...  first, sew the two trims together (i hand-stitched since i don't have a sewing machine).  then, hot glue around the purse...  and you're done!  i think looks very retro, doesn't it?
"You'll knock'em dead at dinner, if your gown just drips with fringe"- remember that song Beautiful Girl from Singing In The Rain?
all you need to know about fashion is there - all in one song.  click here to hear the song on YouTube.

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