Monday, September 24, 2012

Wear your sleeveless as a scarf!

Happy Monday everyone. It's getting a little chilly here in Albuquerque and the fall fashion trends are quickly kicking in, and no other article of clothing defines the feel of fall more than a scarf. Different colors and patterns of scarfs can be found at any department stores and it's a great way to dress up any outfit. But at the average rate of $20 per scarf, you would find that the cost of scarfs can add up quickly. By using the many sleeveless you already have, you can dress up any outfit without spending extra money on scarfs.

Although this post is about saving money on scarfs, it was not my original attention. I was doing a gem show in Denver last week, and what started as a sunny warm Tuesday ended up with a full storm by Wednesday. Because I did not pack for the cold weather, my suitcase was filled with sleeveless tops. I was layering my sleeveless to stay warm, and through the changes, I caught a glimpse of one sleeveless top sitting around my neck and decided to go with it! lol. And as it turned out, no one noticed that it was a shirt and I even received some compliments on my turquoise shirt/scarf. To demonstrate that this "scarf-faking" will pretty much work with any shirt, I attached another example below.

Both shirts were from Forever 21 and were both under $10

Quick instruction:
Put on the sleeveless shirt over your head onto your neck without putting your arms through the arm-holes, tuck around whats hanging in front you until the arm-holes are unseen. It is essential that it is a "sleeveless" with no collar, because any other shirt will hang lots of extra fabric you can tuck away lol.

Try it out, it's free lol. Until next time!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Robin's Egg Nest, how to make a "Bird Nest" Pendant

Hi again everyone! As mentioned in my last post, I was working at Gem Shows the past two weekends. During the show in Tucson, two of my customers wore these necklaces where the pendants looked like bird nests and I thought they were the cutest thing! So of course right then and there, I grabbed some wire and decided to replicate the same thing from memory. We had natural turquoise beads at our booth, so that was my natural choice of material. I used 7mm rounds in natural Hubei turquoise which is about $18 per 16" strand wholesale. But, you can get 7mm blue rounds made out of resin, glass or even plastic for about $1 per 16" strand. You should find them on Etsy or Ebay, that's all they should cost, so do not pay more!!! For the wire, I used the base-metal 24 gauge again (like in my first blog post on button rings).
Start out with about a yard of wire and string it through the beads. Then bend it into a triangle, and wrap triangle as many times as you'd like. When both ends of the wire has about 6 inches left, wrap one though one side of the triangle to secure the nest, and this side will be the top of the pendant.
Use the other end of the wire to wrap but the other two sides. The wire from the first side you wrapped will become the bail/loop for the pendant. So create two large loops with that wire and twist it 180 degrees with pliers. Once the twist creates that bails, it's pretty done, the excess wire can be wrapped around the bail, snipped off, or behind the nest to create the "back of the nest."
The best part about making these is that NEATNESS DOES NOT COUNT! I did a general search of "bird nest" on Etsy and saw hundreds of different versions of them, and I actually think the messier the better! lol.  I don't know why I wasted all the effort to keep it neat, I probably just over-analyzed it as I do with everything in I wanted to re-do this messier before posting but decided it's better to showcase both ends of the spectrum. If you have any questions, please ask or comment! Until next time :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shorts with long-Sleeve Shirts

Hi guys, sorry for how long this post took. I worked at a 4-day gem show in Tucson, AZ last week and literally only had enough time to eat and sleep. But my main reason for not posting is that my hotel did not have free internet!! Can I just say that I can't stand pretentious "fancy" hotels that claim to be 3.5 stars and yet charge extra for everything such as parking and internet! Seriously does more "stars" mean only more money and not more value? Anyways, this week I am in Denver, CO doing a 5-day show, and I am eager to say that I am much happier at my 1 star hotel in Cherry Creek with free internet!

When I am at these shows, I meet amazing people and even prestigious designers, so it's important that I look my best at all times. But easier said than done, like many girls out there that are busy busy busy, dressing up like a model with high-hills just isn't realistic for most days. At these gem shows, we are setting up 20-30 feet booths filled with merchandise, constantly cleaning and selling to customers. So it is important for me to dress as comfortable as I can and look professional at the same time. It was hot last week in Tucson, so jeans and pants were out of the question, and skirts/dresses doesn't allow me to feel comfortable since I am bending down and moving merchandise all day long. Shorts were my go-to item but I don't like wearing shorts with sleeveless shirts because it looks too summer-ish and I feel that I would be showing too much skin in a professional environment. Wearing shorts with short-sleeve shirts or t-shirts feel too casual to me, like I didn't care to dress up at all. So my ultimate suggestion for working during late summer months are 'Shorts with Long-Sleeve Shirts." Long-Sleeve shirts with buttons are not-too-revealing and very professional, but not too up-tight either when paired with some cute shorts!

I'll make sure I get some time later this week before the show's over to make another post about the the jewelry shows or another jewelry-making tutorial, so make sure you subscribe one way or another. Talk to you all soon!

Left Pic: 
Turquoise shirt from Aeropostale, $14.50. 
Gray Corduroy shorties from American Eagle, $24.95.

Right Pic:
Vertical stripe chambray from Target, $19.50.
White Corduroy shorties from American Eagle, $24.95.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Palette Mash Up with Red and Blue!

Hi everyone, so my second post is about putting outfits together with Red and Blue. Bright colors are very hard to put together, but there are a few classic combos that just can't go wrong; and one of them is red and blue. The reason I threw B/W stripes and gray into the mix is to tone down the two main bright colors so the outfit is not too overwhelming with color. 

B/W Strips, Red and Blue
In the picture above, I put an outfit together through just so I can see the combination I brainstormed. In reality though, not only do I refuse to pay for those exact items, I don't even want to spend the time to find similar items lol. So I looked through my closet, and decided to put an outfit together using the same colors, but completely different items and order; so almost like a palette mash-up, see below.
Shirt: American Eagle, Featherlight Henley, $17
Skirt: Forever 21, Short Skirt, $5.80 (no joke, regular price!)
Shoes: Target, Red Ballet Flats, $9.99 (half off clearance)
Bag: A splurge...Coach Outlet, Gray Leather Satchel, $250 (originally $595)

Although the bag in my pic is a bit steep in price, nonetheless, I didn't incur new expenses to achieve this look; I'm using items I already have in my closet to create a brand new outfit inspired by my own palette. So I hope you enjoyed this post and will try to put together a brand new outfit from items you already have in your closet!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Make Rings out of Buttons!

(Making use of those extra free buttons that comes with most shirt purchases)

Haven't you always collected those extra buttons that came with every shirt you bought thinking that one day you'll need it? The truth is, most shirts will go out of style before it looses a button lol. If you are like me, you have about at least a dozen of these babies on the bottom of a drawer near the vanity. Finally, I decided to do something with them. Why not making them into rings!!! So I got some cheap wire from HobbyLobby and went to work.
The wire I'm using is base-metal bead wire, 24 gauge; they are cheap enough for you to practice with and strong enough to last when worn. I got them 1/2 off during HobbyLobby's (every-other-week) promotion so they were only $1.25 or so. Because it is just mixed base metals, please be careful if you are allergic to any type of metals. My size-6 ring took about 30 inches of wire, so to be broad, I'm gonna say 1 yard (36 inches) is plenty for a ring of any size. Since this rollI is 24 yards, you can definitely make 24 rings for $1.25 of wire. That's about 5 cents per ring. Not too bad, right?

Before starting, due to some pulling of the wires, make sure you start the ring one size larger on the mandrel. So here's how you can make the ring:
  Put the wire through the hole of the button, wrap as many times as desire, then prepare to wrap around the actual button, one wire from the top of the button, the other from the bottom. After wrapping 3-4 times, take the ring off the mandrel and start wrapping around the band. You have to pull pretty hard to tighten the band, I just pulled the wire with the tip of my pliers. Snip off the excess, and you got yourself a ring for less than $.05, and definitely a conversation starter too!
Same technique works on two-holed buttons as well, see below

Different views of the rings:
Using the same method, you can use vintage buttons with sterling wire to make something more upscale. There are even gemstone beads made in shapes of buttons, so there are quite a few options out there. If I make a ring with a gemstone button later on, I will make another blog post showing it off. I hope you all enjoyed my first post, I'll be posting at least once a week, so I hope you'll subscribe!