the never-ending hot flash: an outfit post

if i've learned one thing in my life it's that you can trust a meteorologist's forecast as much as you can trust a politician's campaign promises. a prediction of highs in the low 60's, which influenced my decision to wear this lightweight sweater, actually ended up being a high of 81. so you can imagine that last friday when i wore this felt like a never-ending hot flash. oh, those meteorologists; why do i still listen when i know it's a fool's game?

sweater: vintage/thrifted, skirt: forever 21, boots: vintage/thrifted, ring: from my grandma's jewelry box, kona: humane society of amherst county

i really liked this outfit because: i get to wear boots, it incorporates my favorite skirt, and i love a space dyed sweater. i'm definitely wearing this again, but i'm going to stand outside for a while before i get dressed so i can decide for myself what they temperature will be!

one last thing, there's one week left to enter the $25 gift card GIVEAWAY from sneakpeeq, so be sure to get your name in the drawing!

before & after & 11 things

grab a comfortable seat kids, because this is gonna be a long post! i'm just about the worst at being patient when it comes to showing pictures, sharing news, giving gifts, or anything that i'm excited about. have i bought you a gift? just ask me about it and i'll probably tell you what it is or give it to you early just because i can't stand the secrecy anymore! i hadn't planned to share these pictures until later, but i'm so happy with my new chair that i'm actually typing this early and scheduling the post so i can feel like i've shared it...sort of!

on saturday, when i was at chris' late grandparents' house with some of his family cleaning out the rest of their things, i spied this chair that hadn't been claimed by anyone else. it was ugly, even Fugly, but i knew it had 21st century potential. i also knew that i had a boat load of high end upholstery fabric that was very generously given to me free of charge. i'm not good at math, but even i could add up potential and supplies and see that together they equaled a project.

i know it's the blogger thing to do to have white on white on white everything, but i'm partial to the richness of dark wood, so i knew i wanted a contrasting fabric, and i figured a different fabric on top and bottom would make it a little more modern. the off white fabric i love, and in the picture with flojo, you can see the raised reptile skin texture.

now for the 11 things portion. one of my favorite people in the world tagged me, and since i think these things are kind of fun, and a great way to get to know one another a little better, i wanted to include these 11 things. the rules are:

1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you've tagged them.

11 random things about me:

-i've never learned how to do makeup, that's why i hardly own any and think wearing tinted lip gloss is fancy.

-i just want for people to be proud of me so i feel like i've accomplished something with my life.

-i often feel like i have to wear my "filter" because i tend to be sarcastic with tendencies toward potty mouth and i know not everyone will understand i'm just kidding.

-although i'd like bigger boobs, smoother frown lines and a tighter butt, i'd never voluntarily go under the knife UNLESS it was to have the scars from a surgery i had when i was a child made smaller and less visible as they make me incredibly self-conscious.

-the older i get, the more i worry about the day when my pop will no longer be here.

-i'm a picker. i pick at my cuticles, i pick at sunburned skin, i pick at chapped lips, i pick at everything.

-i have a serious problem with laziness. get up, get out, and for god's sake, DO SOMETHING!

-i always tried to get my brother to teach me to armpit fart, but for some reason i was never able to. i still want to, though.

-i cannot, CANNOT sleep if there is a wrinkle in the sheet covering me. i thank my lucky stars for a husband that puts up with me getting out of bed up to 4 or 5 times to pull on and fix the sheets so that i can eradicate wrinkles, even though i wake him up in the process.

-i feel that if i can no longer smell the cleaning product, then my house is no longer clean. i go through a lot of cleaning products, and again, i'm lucky to have a husband that overlooks my insanity.

-i'm a hot sauce addict, and often times i plan a meal around my craving for hot sauce.

1. If you had to put 3 things in a time capsule for future generations, what would they be? i've actually never been good at this sort of thing. in elementary school when we had to make time capsules, i never knew what would be cool enough to discover 10 years or 100 years later. so i'm going to try and say 1. a newspaper so they could see what was going on in the world in february 2012. 2. candy, because who doesn't love candy? 3. some money and a list of some things it could buy today, because i'm sure the economy and cost of living will be different when they find my time capsule.

2. What is one skill/craft you wish you could perfect? one thing i've wished for the last decade i could do (and it's fitting for this post) is reupholster large pieces of furniture. i'm talking about ripping out the guts and completely redoing the entire piece.

3. If you had to describe yourself in senses, how would you smell, feel, color, taste, etc? i think i'd smell like boogers and taste like garbage. i kid. i think i'd have a soft, clean smell, but not perfume-y. i'd probably taste like nutella or a sandwich because that's what i'm made of. i'd feel soft but not squishy. i'd sound like this when i'm calm and this when i'm playful because i'd probably breakdance.

4. How do you take your coffee or tea? i can't take coffee at all. EVER. i like tea hot, iced, with lemon, with peaches, sweetened, unsweetened... i just really like tea.

5. What is your favorite junk food/go to snacks? my favorite junk food is french fries, but sincei don't keep them stocked, my go to snack is cheez-it crackers, granola bars, or pretzels.

6. Describe the wall in front of you. What color is it, what's hanging on it? it's white, on it hangs an old map, and it has a door to the bathroom.

7. If you could keep any animal for a day, without fear of getting maimed or killed, what animal would it be? my favorite bird is a flamingo, but my favorite animals (since i feel bad choosing just one) are polar bears, flamingos, beluga whales, and turtles, so any of them would be welcome companions!

8. Have you ever sewn anything? If so, what was your best project? i've sewn about a gazillion things, but i have no idea which would take the coveted title of Best.

9. Who in your family do you think you are most like? i think i'm a combination of my dad (his sense of humor, his carefree attitude, and the way he never says hello or goodbye without a hug or ten), and his sister, my aunt kimberly (her love of animals, passion for books, and sensitivity).

10. It's Sunday afternoon, what do you wish you were doing? if weather weren't an issue, i'd always like to be swimming.

11. What was the first blog you started reading regularly? bacwoods fern. kassi was the first friend i made though blogging, and she's the reason i stayed with it and grew to love it!

the 11 questions i'm asking for my tagged friends are:
1. if you could have any superhuman strength, what would it be?
2. what do you consider your greatest talent?
3. if you could live anywhere else in the world for one year, where would it be and why?
4. if you could make up a color, what would it look like and what would you call it?
5. what's the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you?
6. what is one quirk about you that other people don't understand?
7. if you could do one thing that would be felt worldwide, what would it be?
8. alive or deceased, what one person would you like to have as a best friend?
9. what's the most delicious thing you cook?
10. in your life, who has been your biggest cheerleader?
11. what scares you?

i'm tagging rebecca, megan, elizabeth, sara, and mars.

one skirt, endless possibilities: an outfit post

hi friends, i hope you're having a good monday following an enjoyable weekend! i bought this skirt about a month or so ago from ebay (i was searching for the pleated gold lamé skirt from forever 21 but found this instead) and i love it for several reasons: a pencil skirt can't be beat, with another skirt or with a lead pipe; i think it acts almost as a neutral so it can be paired with solids or patterns and still look nice; i dressed it up and down and liked it both ways; and finally, i love gooooold.

blouse: express, skirt: tucker via ebay, tights: target, wedges: steve madden, ring: from grandma's jewelry box

i have a few things to say about this outfit. #1 i'm capable of standing upright and do that in day to day life, but can't seem to get the hang of it for pictures, which i realize adds bulk especially when wearing a flowy blouse, and it's just not flattering. #2 flojo is attracted to ALL things gold and LOVES this skirt; if she sees it, it pulls her in like a magnet and she can't stay away. #3 the ring i'm wearing is one my grandma wore years and years and decades and decades ago, and it's my favorite.

so how was your weekend? mine was really nice; on saturday chris and i, along with his aunts and uncles, met at his late grandparents' house to clean out the remainder of their things, and i came home with two projects i'm pretty excited about. one is an old, old chair that was covered in the ugliest, scratchiest fabric known to man, and the other is a semi-ugly vintage lamp. both are getting makeovers, and i can't wait to share the before and after pics! on sunday we didn't have much to do, which was nice, so we went to pier 1 (which i lovingly think of as the affordable version of anthropologie) and i made a birthday list no shorter than 3.81 miles long. we also ate japanese for lunch, and that's always good.

what i've been working on...

guys, i have to confess something: i have been a necklace-making maniac like i've never been before. i love times like these when i seem to just have a never-ending supply of ideas because i feel so productive when i can make so much! i actually have so many pictures that i decided to split this into two posts so as not to overwhelm you with new necklaces! hopefully this weekend i'll have these added to my shop...

lately i've been using less metal and chain and gravitating more towards pretty stones and beads, and some leather i've had for a few years but never got around to using. this large piece of pink marble is one of my current favorites!

i've also brought some bright and pretty vintage fabric out of my supplies storage closet and worked that into a few necklaces. this makes me even more anxious for summer!

i've even been so crazy about making completely new necklaces lately that i've even enjoyed forming and hammering out the clasps, and that's usually something i find tedious and boring! what have you been working on lately? do you have any pictures of your projects posted?

this has nothing to do with jewelry, but first, a bear had a snack of suet from one of our bird feeders in our front yard last night, and i'm really hoping that if i spend enough time by the window i'll see it come back! i know, no one wants bears around, but i think they're absolutely beautiful and a welcomed sight. next, chris and i tried a new place for lunch today (the blue marlin) with fresh seafood priced only a little higher than fast food heart attacks, and i think i have a new favorite place. actually, my stomach is growling just thinking about it...

$25 GIVEAWAY from sneak peeq!

i'm so excited to partner with sneak peeq and be able offer all of my awesome readers 20% off their next purchase, and the grand prize: a $25 gift card to spend on whatever they'd like! sneak peeq is a great site filled with your favorite food, style, and home products - all at a discounted price for its users. to enter, be sure to read the directions below as they're different from past giveaways!

sometimes i host a giveaway that makes me a little jealous of my readers because i'm not able to enter! if i could enter, and i happened to be the lucky winner, here are a few things i'd love to have...


-you must be a follower of this blog.
-do not leave a comment to enter; instead you MUST enter by clicking this link: otherwise you won't be eligible for the prize.
-this giveaway is only open to new sneak peeq users, and those living in the U.S.

i hope you enjoy this giveaway, and i wish you luck! the winner will be announced on my blog on wednesday, march 7th.

beads and leopard: an outfit post

i have two stories about this outfit. first, chris wanted me to listen to a story on NPR regarding trends seen at NYFW. in the story, they talked about how they were seeing more evening fabrics and details being worn in the day (beads, brocade, sequins, etc.), and how it was all about bold accessories. so i couldn't help but feel, as my grandma would say, "right in style," when i showed him this outfit i had picked out already that included a glamorous beaded shell.

jacket: american eagle via tj maxx about 8 years ago, beaded shell: kenneth jay lane, skirt: vintage/thrifted, leopard wedges: payless, bracelets: vintage/thrifted

the second story is along the same lines as the one i first told you about here. like i said in that post, a person's opinion of my clothes or style has no bearing on my decision to wear or not wear something; to the contrary, my overwhelming defiance (that only gets stronger with age) pushes me to wear something even more offensive to said opinionated person. having said that, when the same person - a middle-aged, straight male - continues to give a running fashion police style commentary on my outfit each time i see him, i get annoyed. i dress for myself; i'm only interested in whether i like my outfit, but when it becomes the weekly routine to be made fun of and nitpicked literally from head to toe, i can't help but get frustrated, and even kind of angry. so i'm interested in your advice. seeing as how the client is always right (psssh, whatever!), i can't say anything that will anger them, but i feel it's past time to say, in a firm enough manner to let them know i'm very serious, that this WILL stop. how would you approach something like that, and how would you put into words that you don't want to hear it anymore? on a more positive note, every outfit he's put down has actually turned out to be one of my favorites!

okay, i just thought of one more thing to tell you. i had to show those two pictures of flojo with her beak open and her afro out because i thought they were hilarious! she hates, HATES cameras, so i know in those pictures she's bullying the camera for being near her!

snow day

i know most bloggers have been lucky enough to see some snow this winter - lucky enough that they're probably sick of snow - but i've still been waiting on it. the winter here in southern virginia has been a mild one; so mild in fact, the weather doesn't even warrant a coat most days, and when it has, it's been followed up by days warm enough for short sleeves or skirts with no tights. but yesterday, friends, my luck changed... WE GOT SNOW!!!

it was snowing yesterday before we even ate breakfast, and continue to snow, pretty heavily, all day, but it wasn't until late afternoon that it finally became cold enough for the snow to stick. once it did start sticking, it went from a dusting to a couple inches in absolutely no time! chris, kona and i took a walk for several hours in the snow, and it was just beautiful! it was also neat to be out in the snow where we could watch just how quickly the accumulation was adding up.

we live on a farm which means lots of land, lots of "toys" and no neighbors, i.e. lots of space to play. chris likes doing donuts in the golf cart, and we both like tying a rope to the back of a 4-wheeler, so one can drive, and the other can be pulled down the road and through the fields on a sled until a wipeout, which means we trade places!

since it's supposed to get into the mid-40's today, i'm going to take kona out for another long walk because loves snow just as much as i do! on that note, does your dog get completely nuts when it snows out? kona acts like a maniac, and it's hilarious!

thrifting 101: tips from one junkie to another

it's no secret that i love a bargain, the thrill of the hunt, and vintage. even if i knew the number of hours i've spent searching thrift stores, i still probably wouldn't tell you because it would be embarrassing (and it would also provide proof, once and for all, that i am a thrift store junkie), but what i will tell you is that in all of my hunting, digging, rummaging, and gathering, i have learned a few things. i've had some people tell me before that i have "the best luck" finding things, but since i think it's more about how dirty you're willing to get your hands than luck, i thought i'd share what i've learned...

1. completely throw sizing out of the window. if you see something you like, pick it up to try on, but pay no attention to the size tag because it can trick you. the skirt above (one of my more recent, and beloved vintage thrift store finds) is marked a size 9 but fits like it was made for me. i wear a modern day size 0, and had i paid attention to the tag, this beauty might hanging on someone else's wall for pictures. i can't bare the thought.

2. keep in mind you will be washing items when you get home. when i was new at thrifting, if i saw a spot, i rejected the item entirely. what a dummy. i'm not saying that if something has a 30-year-old permanent mustard stain you should get it, but sometimes you can tell that spots (or, yes, even pit stains) are of the removable variety, and when washed, old items can become almost new again! the same goes for smells; old lady perfume isn't permanent, thank god.

3. most thrift stores have clothing separated by type, season, even color. i can't tell you how many times i've found a gorgeous vintage cardigan tucked in with the tank tops (probably something someone was hiding for later, but it's fair game at the thrift store), or a perfectly fitted jacket hidden in the dresses. look everywhere, because you'll probably find something good!

4. one of the biggest problems i have when thrifting is telling myself that i'm going to make alterations, but never actually doing it. unless you sew often and enjoy doing alterations, be honest with yourself, and don't get something if you know deep down you won't fix it.

5. try things on! thrift stores have dressing rooms for a reason - because most won't accept returns, and you don't want to be stuck with something that's ill-fitting. it took me a long time to actually use the dressing rooms, and to be honest, i have no idea what i was so afraid of. now, they're my best thrifting friend right behind a low price!

6. don't go to the thrift store expecting to find a diamond in the rough. lately i've been overwhelmed with all of the good finds - so much so that i actually have to put some things back because i don't have enough room in my house - but often times there just isn't anything i like or that fits. you have to be willing to keep trying; sometimes you hit it big, other times you may go home empty-handed.

i think that about sums it up, but if you have any other tips or rules you follow when thrifting, i'd love to hear them! also, have you found anything good lately?

my chewbacca: an outfit post

you know how there are times when you see something that's, uh, unusual, and you have to ask yourself, "is it different or ugly in a good way, or different and repulsive in a bad way?" such is the case with my chewbacca sweater. it may repulse, and that might be why i found it away from its previous owner at a thrift store, but i wear that fur ball with pride!

sweater: vintage/thrifted, striped top: j. crew/thrifted, chiffon skirt: maurice's, tights: target, wedges: steve madden, necklace: i made it after i stole from my husband's coin collection.

i should have taken a closer picture of the sweater so you could see it in all its fuzzy glory, but you'll just have to take my word on this one: it's awesome.

my dear husband enjoys a good laugh while making faces during these pictures, or by suddenly screaming to see how much he can scare me. so i played along, and luckily i had a clear nose that day, otherwise i would've had a little something for him...

romancing the home

happy valentine's day, friends! bwow chicka bwow wow. chris and i don't really do anything for valentine's day - not because we're anti-celebratory people who think hallmark made valentine's, blah, blah, blah, but because we're just happy to eat dinner while watching a movie on the sofa - but i think this year if i were going to celebrate, i'd show my house how much i love it! and what better way to show love than with a gift that keeps on giving? live plants!

as with life, romance, and funerals, i always think it's important to have a sense of humor with your house and things that go in it. a pink giraffe planter, who would've expected that? a little piece of funny from boy-girl tees.

one thing i can't get enough of is any sort of plant that can be propagated so easily you could do it blindfolded and with your toes. enter succulents. i have a little succulent garden on my living room coffee table, but i'm planning to add a few new species like the ones pictured above from succulents galore. and let's face it, what are plant clippings without planters? trashbound. vintage planters from harlow monroe vintage and bombshell bettie's vintage.

these don't really need any explanation; i just want them. hanging air plant pods from mudpuppy.

so how are you celebrating valentine's day? are you exchanging presents, and if so, what are you getting or asking for?

new boot goofin'

there are three important parts to this post: flojo, boots, and lieutenant dangle. going in that order, i know that some of you may not know what i'm talking about when i've mentioned flojo before, so please allow me to introduce to you the most beautiful girl/parrot in the world, my sweet flojo, aka dinosaur toes...

she may not always be in the pictures, but you can be sure she's always on my head, or snuggling inside my shirt when i'm typing these posts, editing the pictures, making jewelry, etc. she's my BFF.

next on the list: boots! back before treasure hunting in thrift stores was the cool thing to do (damn you, hipsters!) i could find cowboy boots all day, every day (is it wrong that i want to say eryday?), but not anymore. they are few and far between, and on the off chance i find a pair, they're not my size. i've done a lot of looking online, but without selling an organ, i can't afford most of them on a tight budget. but the clouds parted and my luck changed, friends, when i won this pair on ebay for $4 with only $7 shipping. that's only $11 for a pair of awesome cowboy boots in a small enough size to fit my dwarf-like feet! i was ecstatic.

thanks to one of my favorite crime-fighting fictional characters and his eccentricity, i can't see or wear cowboy boots without wanting to do a little dance, or a little new boot goofin', if you will...

what i've been working on...

well, to be honest, i haven't been working on making as many new things as i'd like, and i attribute that to rubbing kona's belly too much, eating too many cheez-its when i'm not really hungry, and having dance-offs with flojo (which i've still not won). i kid, partially. i have been busy with jewelry, but since about half of what i keep in my shop is made to order, sometimes that's more a priority than thinking up new designs. but i do have three new things to share with you though!

since the natural stone and brass arch necklaces have been so popular, i decided to do a variation on the original design by putting the arch to the side, and then keeping it below, but making it squared. i have several other stones i'm going to use for similar designs, and i can't wait to get those made because the stones (which include calcite and marble) are so beautiful!

the earrings weren't made to go on my website - although i may decide to add them soon - but instead for an amazing giveaway including three other great items on beca's blog (and she's giving away a pair of tumbleweeds sunnies)! i you haven't entered, be sure to do it because the winner will definitely not be disappointed!

two more things that are completely unrelated but you might want to know: last night i made boerenkool for dinner, and i think we have a new regular for mealtime rotation! second, i'm just about to finish up my first week of fat-free milk consumption, and i won't lie, this hasn't been easy.

so what have you been working on, and are you a fat-free milk drinker?

sometimes you must admit defeat: an outfit mistake

i pick my clothes out at night so that it's one less thing to worry about in the morning, but come a new day, my taste may have changed completely. i'm not above laughing at myself, and i've learned that if your outfit...

-makes your legs look jaundiced
-makes you look like you're concealing a secret pregnancy
-makes people think you're elton john
-makes you look like you're wearing a tent fit for a southwest circus's a good time to admit defeat.

i like each part of this outfit individually, but together? it looks like colors and patterns threw up on me. next time i wear this dress i'll be sure to do it without tights and with a simple pair of tan leather wedge sandals (which means i won't wear it again until april). also, i don't actually wear those glasses in public! they were a funny gift from auntie amy brought back from her recent trip to hong kong.

do you ever wear an outfit that you think looks okay, only to look back at it later and realize it wasn't so okay?