Thursday, November 29, 2012

Win a $50 Kohl's Gift Card!

Just in time for the holidays, I was graciously given a $50 Kohl's Gift Card to share with my readers!
Kohl's has recently launched a new tool on their website to make shopping for toys easier. Check out this link to see how toys are grouped by age. Since I have many little ones to shop for, I thought I'd share my favs for each age group/gender that I'll be buying for.
Ahhh, the Sit'n Spin. I had one of these when I was little, and I know Richard has the chance to play with them at daycare. While he might not be able to fully master it yet, it's certainly something I'll put on his list. Since he just turned 1 and a half, this will be something he'll be able to play with for many years.

We pulled a name from the Angel Tree at Jon's work for a little boy the same age as Richard. The "wish" was for a wood puzzle. This one by Melissa & Doug is perfect! These puzzles are sturdy, classic, and are great hand me downs. I was lucky enough to get a ton of them from my Sister-in-Law now that my nieces are grown and Richard just loves them. It's so fun to see him learn his shapes!
My nephew, who also has a Christmas-time birthday, loves Legos and Angry Birds. This set will be perfect for him!
I have 3 nieces to buy for, and they all love doing crafty things. So one idea I have for them is Melissa & Doug's Fashion Design Activity Set. Or maybe it's just Aunt Heather reminiscing about playing with her Fashion Plates - remember those? My nostalgia made me do a quick search on eBay and man - those vintage sets go for a hefty price tag! I am inspired to look for my set in the basement but I am almost certain it's not there. Darn! 

I just wanted to lastly add that if you are still stumped for a gift, you can't go wrong with these book and plush sets that Kohl's has year round. They change them several times a year, and Richard already owns many of them and I know he's going to get more for Christmas (like the set below - notice the peacock on the cover and there are lots more peacock graphics inside). At just $5 a pop, you can add many classic titles to your library and/or stories from popular authors. Even better, Kohl's donates 100% of the profits to support kids health and education initiatives in communities nationwide. Find out more about Kohl's Cares here.

Okay, so on to the giveaway......... Here's how to enter to win the $50 Gift Card:
1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me how you would spend the $50 at Kohl's.
To gain additional entries, you can:
1. Blog, Tweet (@peacockfairy), or Facebook with a link to this post. Just let me know which one (or all) you did, and you will gain an entry for each one.
2. Become a follower of this blog.
I will draw the winner next Thursday, December 6th. Please be sure I have a way to contact you in your comments. Thanks and good luck!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Recreating the look : my $6 skirt

A few weeks ago, I had to have my picture taken for a feature in a local magazine. It focused on my jewelry, so I packed up some pieces and displays. I wasn't sure what to expect, but made sure to dress myself appropriately as well.
When doing this, I have sortof a checklist.....

Statement necklace I made? Check!

Some kind of peacock print? Check!

Coordinating pieces simple and basic? Check!
I got this skirt at the end of the season last year, on clearance at JCP for $6!!! What a great find! It is a thick satin-like material and even paired with my basic black tights and tee, the patent leather shoes and blingy necklace make it a great holiday outfit as well.

 I am wearing a statement necklace I made in 2009.
Also purchased in 2009, were the teal green heels I am wearing. I bought them to go with a specific dress, and who knew how much wear I would get from them for years to come. I love when that happens. I guess I tend to wear a lot of teal colors though, so it's easy.
The article is in this month's issue of Scene Magazine. Thank you to Scene, as well Linda Holderbaum at The Art Center of Battle Creek for writing the feature.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grey Days

This outfit was just posted on the weekly Reader's Outfits over at the Effortless Anthropologie blog. Details:

Rosie Neira "Pinafore Pullover" Sweater - Anthropologie
Lili's Closet "Gilga" Tank - Anthropologie (note: I think making a lace ruffle tank like this might be an interesting DIY project)
A.N.A. Jeans - JCP (watched a story this morning about how JC Penney has been transforming itself - new leader is from Apple - interesting)
Bear Trap Boots - Macy's (Christmas gift from last year)
Hoop Earrings - vintage
I took this pictures while on a break at work on Tuesday. Little did I know how the next few days would go. I got home to a sick little boy - a day before we were meant to travel for the holiday. He seemed fine on Wednesday, as were we, so we went along with our plans. Long story short, one by one we all started getting the stomach ick - Jon first, then me, then my parents. I didn't get to see my Grandparents because they couldn't risk getting sick. I believe my brother got it too, and who knows who else. Needless to say, it was not a very good Thanksgiving for us. We headed back home yesterday - a day early - and now that we are here I feel lots of disappointment and sadness. Had I known how things were going to go, I guess we probably would have just stayed home and spared everyone else.
The only thing I can do now is look ahead and hope that Christmas is better...... that we will be able to see and visit with everyone then, and that we are all healthy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chicago Deals

A few Saturdays ago, Richard and I made the trip to Chicago to meet my Mom for the day. We do these type of trips a couple of times a year, usually in the Spring and Fall. And, fortunately for us we luck out and get an unusually warm weather day! That's odd for April and November and it's even weirder that it's happened so many times for us!

The stores were already decked out in their lovely holiday decor....... the streets were already over crowded with shoppers. Our tradition is shop around the State Street area, especially Macy's (which I will always know as Marshall Field's). We have lunch at the Walnut Room there - one of the oldest restaurants in Chicago - with the huge Christmas Tree gracing the center. I've been doing this with my Mom since I was a little girl and I am so glad to start doing it with Richard.

One of my goals when I go to the "city" is to seek out brands, stores, etc... that are not offered in my area. One such example is the Impulse line that Macy's carries - and in particular, I was looking for the collection that Nicole Richie designed for them. Nicole is one of the many designers known for using peacocks in her work. This more reasonably priced collection for Macy's launced in September and I'd been following it online ever since. There were 4 dresses, a skirt and a blouse that featured a feather print. When I went to LA in early October, I was able to find and try on several of the pieces. But they had not been marked down enough for me yet and the one piece I was truly looking for was the long maxi dress, which they did not have.
Sure I could order online, but I hate paying for shipping when I don't have to and I hate not knowing if something is going to fit or not. Reviews can be helpful, but I still like to try things on if I can. And in this case - WOW - the dress I am wearing is a small and it's still huge!
So yes, I found and purchased the dress. Originally $89, marked down and then an extra percentage off for their One Day Sale plus a $10 coupon that you could use before 1:00 p.m. Grand total? $25! Sweet deal! Got a few more pieces from the collection at just as good prices as well!
I replaced the thin rope belt it came with, using my wide brown one instead. This one was definitely worth the wait!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

America Recycles Week

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in 2 events that were put on by our Go Green team at Kellogg's. I'll start first by explaining Wednesday's "Lunch & Learn" where I did a presentation. Anyone in the company can come to these, and lunch is often provided. The presentation started out by explaining what Kellogg's has been doing and what they will be doing in terms of labeling our packaging for recycling. Then, several "green" artist bios were shared - all of whom either worked at Kellogg's or had close relation to someone who worked there. All of these artist's works have been on display at Headquarters for about a month or so.

Artist Jeff Blandford came to present about the type of recycled materials he uses in his pottery. Everything from the clay itself to melted glass and metals. He has been commissioned by Kellogg's to create bowls for gifts.
I then did a demonstration, creating a heart pendant out of tin. The layered heart I've developed has been a staple in my designs for a while now. I was able to show what tools I use, and how to do a cold connection with rivets. (I took the above pics of the auditorium while setting up, trying to calm my nerves.)

I also showed several design options I've used the shape for, other than just a simple heart.
The next day, Thursday, there was a Go Green Art Fair that I also participated in.
I wore one of my favorite statement tin necklaces.
It was nice to just show pieces that have been made from recycled materials. It made packing and displaying much simpler. It made me wonder..... what if eventually this became my only focus for jewelry?
It was fun to talk to people and everyone was very impressed by the unique ideas.
My friend Kristen (my photographer) had a table with the accessories she has been making out of old sweaters and buttons. She volunteers for The Charitable Union, so that is who she was representing here. She donates the flower pins to them to sell in their gift shop. They are too cute and I am lucky enough to own a few.
Tracy Bell of Copper, Glass and Recycled Trash was also in attendance (no photo). Tracy is very talented when it comes to making her own glass beads and using solder techniques in her jewelry. The coolest recycled material she uses is copper dug up from the street construction that we recently went through downtown!

Another artist had glassware that was made from wine and beer bottles. Clocks made from old records and guitar picks cut from expired credit cards were also represented.
I took these pictures a few weeks ago and wanted to share some of the art that has been on display. The canvas for these large character paintings is actually empty cracker boxes that have been taped together! So cool!

This flower is made from plastic spoons! It seriously looks like some kind of porcelain or ceramic.
Lots of collages made from cut up packaging......

Close up of the toaster collage......
It was a fun week of activites and I am glad to work for a company that supports this type of earth friendly creativity!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Train Stop

I was involved in a few events at work this week which required me to bring in my jewelry (I will post about the events next). You might remember this post about the transformation of a thrifted suitcase. The case is not only a beautiful display piece, but very useful in carting my wares about the town. Since I had it on hand, and my friend Kristen is always up for some creative fun, we decided to take some pictures at the train stop a few blocks away from our office building.

Ahhh, the story of this coat...... I bought it many years ago at Macy's after the winter season had ended. It's a beautiful black wool with floral embroidery. I get compliments on it almost daily - from both men and women - and now that I've dealt with that for so many years it's kinda getting old. Lots of questions about where I got it, if I made it, etc...... Oh well, I guess that's the price you pay when you want to be unique!

What I really wanted to showcase on this particular day was these awesome tights from Kohl's. When I saw them in the store my jaw literally dropped! Ya'll know I've got just about everything peacock there is and if I don't own it, I've probably seen it. But tights? Nope, I didn't have tights yet. What I like about these is they are a solid color so that tones down the obnoxiousness of them a bit, and makes them work appropriate if I pair them as I did here with a black skirt (Kohl's too) and a turtleneck in the same teal color (Macy's). The necklace I am wearing is made from a peacock feather tin, and you'll soon see a debut of it's design (with matching earrings) in the Winter issue of Jewelry Affaire magazine.