Friday, March 29, 2013

Lorelei's Michaels Challenge = Bubble Statement Necklace

A few weeks ago, I joined Lorelei's challenge which was to use these resin bauble slider components from Michael's. They are a wavy shape - with 4 "baubles" on them - with holes on the top and bottom. They come in either a blue/green color, or a pink/purple combo. I bought both colors, not knowing what I was going to design, so I still have the pink/purple to play with.

I came up with a statement necklace, as they seem to be very inspiring to me lately (and are still a fashion staple). I of course love swooning over the pretties at Anthropologie, J. Crew, and the like. I tend to be a "matchy" person, so when I see something with a random color combo I am always amazed. Many of the statement necklaces do tend to be an unusual mix of colors that I would not think of combining. I started pulling whatever beads made sense to me - larger fuchsia pearls to string along the top, and then smaller jade-like rounds for the bottom accented with crystal drops. I love how it turned out!

Thanks Lorelei for coming up with this challenge with these interesting components! You can see the rest of the participants here. And, if you love this necklace as much as I do, I will be listing it for sale on Etsy!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Get the look, for less!


Target's Mossimo Patricia Wedge, $29.99
I wanted to share some recent deals I scored at Target, inspired by higher priced pieces.

First up, the Patricia Wedge which was inspired by:
Chloe Wedge, retailed for $795
Dolce Vita, retailed for $90
The two tone color look is here to stay, and Dolce Vita has come out with a very similar version of this sandal this year being sold at Anthropologie and Free People, both for $90.

Target's Mossimo Lindsay Wedge, $29.99
Inspired by:
Seychelles Eye to Eye, retailed for $110
(which was also sold through Anthropologie under the name Bonnyville)
The draw that brought me to both of these, is getting the Anthropologie look for less. AND, I love wedges - they are my go to during the warm months. AND, Target is having a special this week (in stores and online), buy one get one 50% on all shoes! $45 for both of these is a sweet deal in my book!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Issue

I just got my issue of the Spring Jewelry Affaire in the mail! I have 2 projects featured, both using decorative tin. I'll show sneak peeks below, without giving away the whole project. Check this issue out when it hits newsstands on April 1st! It's a great book, full of inspiration. I am so proud to be a part of the Stampington family - their magazines are gorgeous!

And look who else has been having fun getting into Mom's jewelry?

"This locket is so funny! The only thing that would make it funnier is if I could stuff a goldfish cracker into it!"
These bangle bracelets have become an obsession this week. He wears them around all evening long, and it's a big fight to take them off for baths and bedtime. He loves taking them on and off and saying "Uh oh" when one goes astray. Dad has the most luck in winning them back before it's off to sleep!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Filling the drawers......

I thought I'd share a little peek into the ongoing project of organizing my printers cabinet. This is way too big of a job to complete in one day - at least for me - so it's been a gradual process. I clean out a few drawers, fill them up, clean out a few drawers, fill them up, etc.... To clean them I have used my little handheld vacuum to get any dust and dirt out. Then, I use a damp rag to wipe the inside of every. little. compartment. That is the part I hate! My fingertips are sore and I have a sharp pain in my shoulder from the repetitious motion. My fingernails are stained with ink. I'm definitely going to need a manicure after this!

I decided to stick with the organization that I've been using for years - sort by bead type. That means I have a drawer for stone, one for wood, one for glass, etc..... It works for me so why change it. Here are some random thoughts I've had - feel free to comment with what you do yourself if you are a beader.

Do I cut the strand so all of the beads are loose, or leave them strung for easier use? I've cut the majority of my strands during this process, as I had several trays full of them. I've only left beads on strands if they were particularly difficult to round up. And of course, the drawer of seed and delica beads are all still in their containers - lucky the containers fit in the compartments.
What do you do with the little beads that are often strung in between the beads you've bought? Often times, they are just clear seed beads. But what about the ones that might be matching stone or wood? I've found I tend to keep the nicer ones and toss the others.
It's a good thing I am only cleaning drawers as I need them, because I sure as heck am not going to do all 20 unless absolutely necessary! So far, I've used up 6 drawers. I am thinking I will probably need 4-5 more? Who knows!?!?!
The thought occurred to me about ever moving this thing, as we are fixing up the house to sell. But, I didn't want to delay the enjoyment of it for something that is unknown. But I wonder, would I have to put all my beads back in the plastic trays? Ugh, I don't even want to think about that! Put some kind of packing tape over each drawer so the beads don't fall out?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tricky Prints

As any Anthropologie lover knows, it's the place to go for quirky prints. But as I have found out over the past year or so, sometimes you need to take a closer look! Here's what I mean:
Since my closest Anthro store is an hour away (and has only been in existence for about a year and a half), I do a lot of my Anthro shopping online. I look at their website and mark things in my "Wish List". When I do get to a store, it's usually to try on my favorite items so I truly know what size I need when the item hits sale. Once an item goes on sale, I do one of three things:
1. order it online but the downside is paying shipping
2. if I can make it to the store and have other things to do in that area, I'll go, but I also consider my gas costs
3. call a store to have something sent to me (or they will place the online order for you) and more than likely the SA will waive the shipping fee
When looking at a 2 x 3 picture of something online, it can be easy to overlook something that might be really interesting close up. Obviously, I do not look at the detail of every single item - only the ones that catch my eye (or I can tell what they are already) from that initial picture. I posted the model shot of this dress at the end of the post in the same size it would be on Anthropologie's website. At glance, you would probably think this is a graphic, sunburst type print - right?
To further my point, if you were to do a search on Anthropologie's website with the word "peacock", this dress would not show up. Why their site it setup like this I do not know. The word "peacock" is not in the title, description, or even the color (green motif) of this item.
This is Maeve's "Eton Marble" dress, and I passed by it for months. It wasn't until I happen upon a close up shot during an eBay search of something else that I saw what it really was! By that time, this $128 dress was marked down to $39.95 and was sold out online and in stores. It seemed like waiting for one to come up on eBay or in the Trade Market would be my only hope, but I knew I'd be paying a little bit more then because most people are selling to make money on an item. By sheer luck, the dress appeared in my size in a popback (see the definition of a popback here) and I was able to order it!
My other example of this type of scenario is the Beach Treasures dress from this summer.
I know, I'm a weirdo. Hunting down bargains like this is a thrill for me, and I guess it's safe to say it's a hobby too.
Outfit Breakdown:
Maeve's Eton Marble Dress - Anthropologie
Tights - Target
Boots - JC Penney
Necklace - gift from hubby
Bracelet - Forever 21


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Opera Art

Jon and I have been attending operas since we were dating. When we lived in Illinois, we attended a few in Peoria. Now that we have been in Michigan for 10 years, we've been to several in Grand Rapids and one in Detroit. I would love to go to one in Chicago someday, as the theatre there looks really cool.

The last 2 we've been to in Grand Rapids have been after Richard was born. They've turned into overnight dates, even though the drive is only an hour. It is so nice to get away, get dressed up, have a lovely dinner, etc.....

We've now been to 4 in Grand Rapids, and the programs are works of art in themselves. The 9 x 9 books have beautiful art on the front. Even though I am a scrapbooker, I don't really have a place for these because I don't take pictures at the opera to include with it. And yes, I've tried to take a few pictures there and they never turn out. So, I dreamt up another way to enjoy these memories.

I bought a pack of 12 x 12 canvases at Michael's. They came in a pack of 7 for $19.99 and then I had a 40% off coupon. Using 4 of them, I have 3 extra for future projects. I painted them a mustard color with some paint I already had, and did some shading around the edges with brown chalk. Then I adhered the program covers to them. Lastly, I coated them with a product I have that gives matte protection and texture.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dress Shopping

I am so honored and excited to be Matron of Honor in my dear friend's wedding this September. I took the day off last Friday for our first dress shopping experience. I knew I wanted to be comfy so I went to this tried and true outfit.

When putting this outfit together, my main goal was finding something to go with the necklace - a tiny painting in a frame - purchased at The Art Center of Battle Creek. When I saw it, I thought it was very Anthro! The Painted Peacock Tee by One September (from Anthropologie) was the perfect match! See it previously here. The rest of my outfit is all my usual basics - a thrifted cardigan, skinny jeans and boots from JC Penney.

In other news, never a moment of rest here at the Trudeau house..... After finishing the studio, and then repainting the living room and doing all new trim in there, we have now moved on to repainting this hallway all the way up these stairs and into our upper living area (the area outside of the 2 bedrooms and bathroom). This by far is the largest area we've tackled to date, and we have divided it up to hallway/stairs and then upper area. We are doing the walls and the trim, so a lot of taping is involved. And the door surfaces that face out into these areas. Ugh! That one Sunday when I was able to make some necklaces seems like it was just a lucky moment in time. I am seriously feeling the need to just take off an entire week so I can have some time to myself and make jewelry (especially since my next show will be in May). One odd outcome from all of this? Our stairs are so creaky! We currently have painters tape on the edges while we are painting the trim. And something as simple as that has made them completely quiet!?!?! It is so weird, and I hate to take the tape off now. Do you think I could start a new trend in decor by leaving it on?

Lastly, take note of the 4 canvases going up the one side of the stairs. I'll do a post soon on a little DIY project I did!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Something old, something new......

FINALLY getting some new pieces out into the world! You can find all of these in my Etsy shop. I am having fun coming up with ways to incorporate my new cabinet as a prop. It's working well as a team with my mannequin and old clipboard.

Also, doing some early Spring cleaning..... one good thing about redoing the studio is that I came across some old pieces and they are marked in my Etsy shop with "SUPER SALE" in the title. These prices are mostly half of what they originally were. I honestly just want them to find good homes. I am tired of looking at them and dragging them to shows. So take advantage! AND, you'll probably get a good rate on shipping too as I have not updated all of that with the recent increases. I'm just getting back into the game, it will take me a while to get everything straight.