Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Painted Jacket

I feel like I say this all the time, but if a piece of clothing has a vintage and/or handmade/artisan vibe to it, I am digging it. The piece I find most that fits this description is jackets. I have painted jackets, embroidered jackets, cross stitched jackets, you name it. I should probably do a round up on here when I am stumped on posting something. Anyway, do I need another jacket? No. Do I buy one though if I see something unique? Yes.
Another thing I like to do is keep up with what the high end designers are doing and watch it trickle down to the masses. This seems to happen a lot with handmade details too. It seems that several years now, brands like Prada and Dolce & Gabbana have embraced granny square designs (which I totally love). And I saw painted jackets at Burberry a few years ago (inspiration photos at the end of this post). I thought to myself, "I can do that!" and added it to my never ending lists of DIYs for someday. I planned to find a Sherpa jacket at a thrift shop and go to town on it with some paint!
Then, about this time last year, I found this jacket already painted at the thrift store in my town. But, it was too small. I was super bummed, but since I knew the brand I knew I could search for it like I usually do on eBay and Poshmark. I also kept the design in mind because rather than free handing with a paintbrush, this jacket looked like it had been stamped with various designs. A flower with leaves, a few filigrees, and some writing - I either already had, or could get stamps just like that, since I have been crafting for so many years.
Well, lo and behold my size in this jacket showed up on Poshmark last week! I snatched it up right away because who knows when I would have ever gotten around to making my own! The brand is "Mechant" and it looks like they make some really unique clothes.

Burberry Inspiration

A Lot of (Indoor) Pictures

Since our weather continues to change extremes from day to day, I have a bunch of random inside pictures for today's post. Remember this post where I matched this pink/purple statement necklace to 7 dresses? Well, I found another necklace in this style at TJ Maxx - this time in silvery hematite - which is going to be just as versatile! So in love with it!
 I'm torn about this sweater (lay flat of this outfit also shown below). I got it secondhand from my go-to consignment store in Chelsea but now I wonder if it is too "dated". Thoughts?

 Lastly, I have two skirt outfits that I've recently worn winterized (meaning, addition of tights). The first time I wore this charm skirt, it was with a tank, cropped cardigan, and vintage brooches. One of the charm necklaces the boys got me for Christmas matched it perfectly too so I simply wore a black top this time around.
 The first time I wore this skirt, it was with a black tee and jean jacket. This time around I wore the same black top so I could add the fringe necklace (which I wear sooooo much) that pulls the peach color out of the print so well!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Winter Edition

A pop-up ad for this top came across my screen one day, and it immediately reminded me of a Winter version of an Anthropologie style top I have.
 It has different blocks of color, delicate floral print, flowy shape and special trim details - all similar to the one shown below (original post here). The Macy's edition can carry you through all of Winter with it's long sleeves, red colors (hello Christmas and Valentine's Day), and black velvet accents.
 Rock & Republic High Roller Jeans - Kohl's
Black Flats - Payless
Sunglasses  - Target

January Reads

I read 5 books this month, which is a lot considering several of them were quite hefty in size! But, tis the season for hunkering down inside the house, right? A few themes this month...... I read two books about Alaska, two books by Kristin Hannah, and three of the books had very cold weather in them!
To The Bright Edge Of The World by: Eowyn Ivey
I read The Snow Child by Eowyn last Winter so it seems only fitting that I read one of her books again this Winter! This book follows the correspondence between a Colonel and his wife as he sets off on an Alaskan expedition in the late 1800's. Just thinking about how these type of explorations happened - in harsh conditions - at a time when modern conveniences were not available is so amazing to me! The hardcover copy I read was also filled with maps, photos and other tidbits that made it even more interesting. I really enjoyed his wife Sophie's challenges back home as she balked the traditional role of women at that time. I loved how she followed her passion of learning about photography and documenting her beloved birds. The Native American guides to the Colonel and his men was another large part of this book - it was suspenseful not knowing if who they came across would help or hurt them in their journey.
The Rules of Magic by: Alice Hoffman
I haven't read Practical Magic, nor have I ever seen the entire movie, so maybe the hype of this book was lost on me. I believe this is the prequel to Practical Magic....... The 3 main characters (siblings) in this book work their way through many hardships as it seems their family is "cursed". This book was intriguing enough for me to finish, but I can't put my finger on what was "off" for me.
Anything For Amelia by: Andrew Branham
This book is the true story of one gay couples' journey in adoption. I have no idea how Andrew and DJ made it through this! Every time I thought I was shocked enough, the birth mother would come up with something even more shocking! The birth mother they got matched to was 24 and on her 6th pregnancy - she had kept 3 of her kids and already adopted out the other 2. "Selling" her babies is how she made a living as she and her boyfriend didn't work. She completely took advantage of the financial support the adoptive families agree to provide (i.e. a set amount of money for housing, food, etc....) by making up lie after lie about what they needed money for. She would text Andrew and DJ excessively - hundreds of times a day - and would threaten not going through with the adoption if they did not comply with her demands! The 3 children she did keep were neglected and abused (CPS did become involved). This is one of those stories that really makes you lose faith in humanity. So heartbreaking for the kids who are in these situations through no fault of their own.
The Great Alone by: Kristin Hannah
This book is set in the 70's when a family of 3 inherits a plot of land/cabin in Alaska from the father's deceased Vietnam war buddy. Always down on his luck since the war, Ernt decides to move his wife and daughter there. They are welcomed by many strong characters and taught how to homestead in this unforgiving, remote lifestyle. Plagued by a stormy and abusive relationship, Alaska is still not the answer for Ernt and Cora's troubles and unfortunately their daughter Leni is subject to this dysfunctional home as she grows up. As the years go on, many major events (some far fetched) happen which seemed to be crammed into the last few chapters of the book. That being said, I could hardly put this book down. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next and Alaska plays a major character all it's own in this story.
The Nightingale by: Kristen Hannah
Having enjoyed The Great Alone so much, I moved right into another book written by Kristin. The Nightingale is about two French sisters living through WW2. Vianne is forced to be on her own with her young daughter as her husband heads off to war. She soon finds out he has been captured, and goes for years not knowing if he will ever come home. Meanwhile, German soldiers take up residence at her house, forcing her to be on her guard at all times. As she and her daughter struggle to survive with little to no food rations, threadbare clothing, no heat/electricity she also learns what is happening to the Jewish population. Meanwhile, her sister Isabelle joins the Resistance and helps fallen pilots escape German occupied France through a network of safe houses. She becomes known as The Nightingale as efforts increase to find the person responsible for these escapes. Another exceptional book that I looked forward to reading every day!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Loft Peacock Roundup

I'm sure everyone is sick of hearing about it by now, but my part of the country is having record breaking low temps this week! Obviously, this means no outfit pictures. So to beat the cabin fever, I came up with a few posts I could put together that would involve inside pictures, or pictures I already had.
The Loft has been one of my go-to places for peacock pieces, so I figured I would do a round up of looks dating back to 2015. I blog for a hobby, but many people I follow on Blogger or Instagram do this for a living. I am finding that I am getting sick of seeing the same thing over and over. I totally get that they are always promoting new merchandise because every person who clicks on that or purchases that, they get a commission for. But seriously, one girl gets a knit hat with a fur pom on the top and they all get a knit hat with a fur pom on top. One girl gets ultra expensive Golden Goose sneakers, and now 2 other girls I follow get them??? I mean, I am even seeing the same poses, same makeup, and same hairstyles! There is one thing I will always be, and that is authentic. This is how I look everyday and these are the clothes I wear everyday (even if they are 5 years old)! It's easy to get down on yourself when you compare what you are doing with others, but I keep reminding myself that this is for my own creative outlet. And, it makes me appreciate the gals I follow who are like minded.
Okay, enough ranting. The pic below is from Pinterest, but I wore this same combo today featuring a peacock blouse from The Loft! Mine is a little less polished because I have a grey cardigan instead of a blazer, but this is something I probably would not have put together on my own (I would have never thought of the grey).
 Pretty much the exact same outfit was featured in my Chenille Crush post - just swapped out the grey sweater for a red one.
 Speaking of chenille, I got the teal number from this post AFTER I had done my Chenille Crush post. So yeah, that makes 5 chenille sweaters. This look features another peacock blouse from The Loft.
 The blouse above and this dress are the same print, just in different colorways. I felt they were different enough to purchase both. You can see the original dress post here.
 I LOVE the sweater from this post.
I NEED to repeat this outfit soon! Another pretty blouse originally shown here. 
Last week, I wore this comfy Loft sweatshirt with jeans. I love the beading and tassel detail on the peacock! This delicate little gemstone necklace from Anthropologie (from Mom for Christmas) is perfect because it doesn't take away from the design of the top.
I love throwing on this Loft sweatshirt too whenever I am stumped for something to wear. See original post here.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Basement Refresh

The latest room we've completed in our home is the finished portion of our basement - the theme was "man cave". If you are interested in how we DIY, read on - I will link any products when I can.
 The starting point of this room, after refreshing the white ceiling paint, was deciding to do a statement wall with these wood planks we got at Menards. Since they fit so close together, there was no need to paint the wall before putting them up. We used a chalk line to mark the studs and then Jon got these up in about a day. (Window reflecting in the TV, grrrrrr!)
 We may hang a few more things on the wood wall, but don't want to cover it up too much. Now, the saga to match the wall paint. Three fourths of the way around the room, there is a ledge so we knew we wanted to do a dark color on the bottom and light color on top with the light color carrying around the rest of the room. At first we picked out the rusty red and golden tan colors from the wood. As we got to painting, it just wasn't right. We debated and debated, and then pulled out leftover paint from other rooms that we knew we liked. So it ended up the light color is the same as our living room and the dark color is on the island in our kitchen. Once that was all painted, we refreshed all of the white trim.
 All of the décor down here is stuff we already had that had made it's way to the area as we knew this is what the look would be. Everything vintage in the way of tools, gaming or cars.

 The next project was this entertainment center. We have had this since we got married (16 years). Jon's uncle, who sadly committed suicide, made it in the 80's I believe. We used it in our apartment, our home in Battle Creek, and up until a few years ago at this house until we got a different one for the living room. The wood was a lighter color and had some imperfections on it as expected for it's age, so it got sanded and stained darker. Then, Jon made this barn door from old wood and attached the rolling hardware to hang it. He got the hardware kit from Menards. 
 The part the barn door hides is sectioned off into four quarters - so it hides some electronic stuff but also has décor.
 The handle is an old bottle opener!
 Here's a good picture to see the two-toned walls.
 Another project Jon made is this license plate collage.
 We re-tiled the fireplace. The tile that was on there before was such a light beige and blah. Plus, it had a shiny gold edge around the base that made it very dated. The large tile on the base was easy to chip out so that Jon could just slide the new pieces under the trim without having to take it off. The smaller border he was able to tile over the old stuff. Some grout and it was a fairly easy DIY!
 We had a couch and a love seat down here before (the love seat was on this same wall and the couch faced the fireplace). We sold both of those pieces and knew we wanted to get brown leather - preferable something that looked "old school library/lounge" if that makes sense. We started looking at used couches online but then also headed to a local furniture store - Vermuelen's. We found this beauty in the clearance section..... it was the floor model so it has a bit of that worn in look (which we were okay with). It's a power recliner and the brass tack detail is exactly what we were looking for!
 That kind of leather that just gets better with age!
 The trunk coffee table is another piece we have had for many, many years.
 These Model A hood vents are a flea market find from this Summer. There are 3 windows in the room and previously they did not have blinds on them. There were existing curtain rods (clunky ones at that) that I hung some curtains from our other house on when we moved in. Taking those curtain rods down and putting up simple blinds (which we had to purchase) really opened up the room. With the natural light coming in today, they just look really washed out in the pictures.
 We bought bean bags for the boys, and they LOVE them. I guess I never thought about it before, but it's hard to find bean bags and when you do they can be expensive! I mean, over $100 for a bean bag!?!?!?! I was pleased that I found these at Target and my boys are all about fuzzy things!
 We'll fuss a bit with the décor here and there, and then we may move a rug we already have in storage to break up allthebeigecarpet! I think that's all I have to say on this room. Redoing a room can seem daunting, but just think of things you already have that you can use or refurbish. Selling existing large pieces can help the budget for new pieces you might want. And of course, doing the labor yourself is very rewarding! I am very lucky that Jon is a jack of all trades, but honestly just pull up a video online and teach yourself!