Tucson Gem Show in September?

There is nothing better than sticking your hand in a bowl full of pretty jewels or stones and letting them cascade through your fingers. I love shiny pretty rocks! Maybe that’s where Belle gets it from…

We all know about the monstrous gem show that overruns Tucson in February. But I didn’t know there was one in the fall! My friend Natasha over at Fashionalities informed me of this upcoming J.O.G.S show. What interests me is that there are jewelry making classes. Hmmm… I do plan to add jewelry to my store someday. Some classes would sure help me with that!

So, if you’re up for going, lemme know and you’ll have a partner in crime!

Photo: “Jewels” by Cayusa. Some rights reserved.

Circa 1992 to Circa 2010

Why, hello there, Grandma Dowling. Oh wait, that’s me. My grandma did wear a pair of glasses like those, though.

So this dress screamed ’90’s to me. It has shoulder pads, buttons all the way down, elastic waist, and a longer length. However, Phil saw it more like a 1950’s dress, so he made me dress up for this pic and did a little photoshoppage. I really do own those glasses. It’s hard to tell the design from above, so here’s a close up. This is what grabbed me:

Love the colors and the flowers!

I first removed the shoulder pads. Then I turned the neckline in a V. Next I removed the sleeves and gathered the shoulders into a cinch. Then I hemmed up the length. All in all, a very simply remake.

Phil wasn’t around to take a pic for me. My huge mirror tiles from Ikea came in handy.

I wore it to Rosa’s baby shower on Saturday and received tons of compliments. It was a lovely dress for a lovely shower.

<will insert pic with my girls from the shower here>

Muumuu to Woohoo!!

Aloha! This one is for my dad, who lives in Hawaii. This mu’umu’u (actual spelling) was an exciting find at goodwill. Why?

Because of this fun edging!

Plus it had snap buttons and pockets! I put it on for the picture and…it was really quite comfy. I said, “I can see why people wear these.” Phil looked at me like I was crazy. Geez, I was just sayin’.

So I cut it to blouse length and gave a new hem with a decorative stitch. I also had to take this sucker in a TON. So I added a vertical seam in the back that took out inches upon inches of fabric. Then I cinched the sleeves. The sleeves were the hardest to figure out what to do with because I loved the lace on the edges. But I think it worked.


So now I could rock this someplace other than just Hawaii. I wore it out to Zachary’s on Tuesday night. A gimonstrous pizza and 2 raspberry framboises (from tap!) later… the blouse was still accomplishing it’s purpose as a roomy muumuu. Even homer agrees!

Ditches to Stitches

I have to say this name is in the running. Thanks Rosa! So last week I took this article of clothing that was DEFINITELY a “ditches”…

circa 1991?

My mom denies ever having owned this, let alone made it, but I know the truth. I retrieved this bad boy years ago from her bin of scrap fabrics, to use as, well, scrap fabric. I mean, what else could it be used for? Phil actually shuddered when I walked out in it. And when  I asked for a picture, he vehemently protested the documentation of me in such a garment. Of course he had no idea the master plan buzzing around in my (scary) brain!

But with a few stitches (ok, and some¬†snippity snips)….

circa 2010!

Now I know you boys out there (do any boys read this, other than Phil?) are scratching your head and trying to figure out how this is any better. Phil did. But, women, we know the truth. I mean, how cute are these little rompers that are out there floating around? And I didn’t have to spend a penny on mine.

Rejected Clothes Get a Makeover

Several months ago, I decided to monitor what clothes in my closet are being worn and which aren’t. Using this helpful strategy from lifehacker, I am aware of my closet rejects hanging around. (Haha, get it? Hanging around?) As I grab them out of my closet to wistfully part with them, I get a burst of creativity. Instead of giving them away, why don’t I see if I can modify them to give them a more updated look. This also goes along with my “shopping diet” plan.

disclaimer: despite all the articles I’ve read on getting good pics for your blog, it comes down to the simple fact that my camera just sucks. Hint, hint Honey!

First up:

Pink Lady!

This isn’t anything too terrible, I know. I think it’s a little long for today’s craze of minis. And just too much pink! I love the ruffles, but… snip snip! Here’s the after:

A new mini

I left the under-slip peeking out too. I thought that was a fun detail!

Next up:

Clowning around!

What is with that collar? Guh. I look like a clown. I don’t know why I ever bought this shirt, and I have not worn it once in an entire year that I have owned it. However, I do like the pattern of the fabric, so out came my seam ripper and…

Buh bye clown collor, hello ruffle straps. I also removed the sleeve as I just felt it was too much “print” and still too much ruffly-ness with them on. I’m totally wearing this right now.

Finally, a simple number that involved NO sewing!

I know, I know – totally cute dress, right? What could be wrong with it? Nothing, fashion wise. The reason I never wear it is because the length says “hello summer!” and the long sleeves say “hello winter!” I’m so confused. And yes, I’ve worn it with tights, I’ve worn it with jeans, I’ve worn it un-buttoned as an over shirt. But it just never did it for me, but it’s so dang cute I’ve kept it. So one simple adjustment – I cut the sleeves to mid bicep. I didn’t even need to hem the edges because I could just roll them a few times. (I apologize for how this next picture really doesn’t show what I did very well, but more shows me playing dress up…)

Hello officer!

Perfect little military dress, fit for summer now. I think I’m going to wear this to Laffs tonight!

DIY Plant Labels

This conversation has been repeated many times in our kitchen while cooking dinner together:

“Phil, will you get me some mint from the garden?”
“Uhhhh, which one is mint?”
“The green, leafy plant by the stepping stones.”
“Honey, they are all green and leafy!”
“But it’s the only one that smells minty!”
“I’ll finish chopping the veggies and you go get the mint.”

There have been many variations to this banter involving basil, parsely, cilantro, chives, etc. Finally, Phil requested that I make labels for all the plants. Sigh, ok. But keeping a garden of my size adds up, and I was reluctant to spend more money for essentially a non-essential item. Especially when I have 30+ variety of plants in there.

I had a few of these, a find from Target’s dollar spot a few years ago. I adore these. Such a simple design… Hmmmm, how can I just make some myself? Well after digging around in closets inside an out, looking for reusable materials, even though I didn’t know what materials I wanted, I came across these:

Why I ever saved these is a mystery to me. But I’m glad I did. They are already made to stake in the ground and label plants! Next, I needed to make the label different, obviously, and much bigger (not digging the teeny tiny print). I pulled out our trusty duck tape and got to work.

I was inspired to use duct tape when I remembered my cousin, Ryan, and his talent for creating things out of duct tape.

Grabbed a sharpie, did some writing and even added some doodling on there and….

Tada! A cute, readable, cost-me-nothing plant label. Here are some shots of them at home in the garden: