Tuesday, March 31, 2015

5 Favorites of March

Between spring break, mid-terms and some difficult health issues for both me and my beau, this month seems to have been one big blur and I can honestly say that I'm glad it's over.  But before it is gone for good, I'd like to squeeze in one more post summing up some of the things that I have been loving this month.

1.  Turquoise and cream, polka dot scarf.
scarf turban
 Since I got my new hair cut, I have been playing around with how to deal with it on those days that I don't want to spend 45 minutes pin curling it.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the new do, but it takes work, a lot of work.  Considering I only get out of the house 2-3 days a week, there is no reason for me to do it every day.  But I still want to look cute, of course.  So, I've been putting it up in scarves quite a bit.  This one is, hands down, my absolute favorite.  It was a Christmas gift from my dear friend Terri, thank you so much girl.  Turquoise, polka dots, I couldn't love it any more.

2.  Navy and Red Plaid Coat
vintage inspired plaid coat
One can never have too many plaid coats, right?  Well, I hope not, cause this is starting to become an addiction.  I almost didn't pick this up because I just got a new one a few months ago.  But the combination of red and navy was just too great to pass up.  Then I saw the buttons!!! Look at the little anchors, aren't they perfect?  That's it, done deal and for only $13 bucks, I think it was a steal.  Added bonus, my little Navy anchor earrings go with it perfectly.

3. Bakelite & Lucite Brooch
bakelite lucite brooch
I've seen a bunch of this style brooch all over etsy and ebay for some time now and really liked them.  However, the ones that I kept seeing had Scottie dogs, poodles, or flamingos on them.  Not that those aren't awesome in their own right, but they just don't do it for me.  So when I stumbled onto this one with cherries on it at a local antique store, I scooped it up in a heartbeat without a second thought.  This is my first piece of Bakelite and Lucite, and although I'd love to have more, I don't see myself becoming a Bakelite hoarder anytime soon.  It's just far to spendy for my tiny little budget, this was quite a nice little splurge though.

4. Jordan Essentials Lotion Bars
lotion bar
 These aren't exactly new, I've been using them for a few years now but this month I have been using them more often.  Something in the changes in weather makes my hands in need of some serious TLC.  Being a knitter, lotion choice is a big deal.  So many lotions become greasy or even sticky which does not work well for having yarn wound around your fingers.  This stuff, on the other hand, is perfect for us knitters.  Just the right amount of deep moisture without all the funky residue.  It looks like they no longer have the vanilla cream, but you can find many other 'flavors' on their website.

5.  Stila's Stay All Day, liquid lipstick
Stila Lipstick
 I have been on the never ending quest for the perfect red lipstick for years and I think I have finally hit the jackpot.  I am a lover of long-wear liquid lipsticks.  Mainly because I'm lazy and want to put it on in the morning and not think about it for the rest of the day.  One touch-up or maybe two are ok, but anymore than that is just too much of a pain in the ass.  Also, I like to eat and drink and hate that thought, halfway through my meal, that my lipstick is wearing off and I probably look ridiculous.  I usually stick with drug-store brands mainly because they are cheaper and I can actually buy them in my town.  On the recommendation of countless ladies, I did try MAC's Ruby Woo, last summer and was disappointed by how long it didn't last and how hard it was to touch up.  But the COLOR, oh how I loved that amazing color.  Well, now I've found the best of both worlds.  This Stila lipstick in Fiery, is the closest long wear lipstick I have found to the Ruby Woo.  Sorry MAC and MAC addicts, but I am a total Stila convert.  Added bonus, thanks to the Ulta finally opening up here, I can actually buy this in person.  That being said, I for see many more makeup products being a part of my monthly 5 favorites.

I hope you've enjoyed this months favorites.  Now that it's done, I am ready to say good bye to March and welcome April and all the lovely things that it will bring.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunny Days and Quick Knits

She Knits in Pearls
In some areas of the world, spring might just be in full swing.  As you can see though, there is still quite a bit of snow in our neck of the woods and it'll probably be that way for a while longer.  Thankfully, the temperatures are starting to make it bearable to do a bit of outdoor pictures.  Halleluiah, is it really possible that we've made it though another Alaskan winter?  Were not out of the frozen woods yet and mother nature has been known to screw us sideways more than once in a while, but I'm actually starting to feel a bit optimistic.  Today was a record breaking 45 degrees, so it was definitely time to get the camera and head outside.
1940's Knit Sweater
 I finished this quick knit sweater a while ago but just have not been inspired to take any pictures of it, until today. I talked about it a bit before and had totally planned on writing up the alterations that I've done to the pattern to give it a different neckline and make it fit my proportions a little better.  I'm just not ready to do that yet though.  I really like how this version turned out, but it just isn't as good as it could get, yet.  So, some time in the future (after I get through the next few projects that are already planned), I'll be knitting it again and hopefully getting the exact perfect fit.  THEN I can write up the alterations that would be even more helpful. 
1940's Knitting
I hope you all like the frozen boat in the back ground.  I have an overwhelming suspicion that you'll be seeing it all summer long considering it is right outside my door and is an awesome backdrop.  I'm just hoping sometime soon there will be no snow in the pictures and maybe the owners might actually let met get on it for some pictures.  So far, they seem like nice people, so I'm hopeful.

She Knits in Pearls

We even coaxed Cupcake out of the house today.  She may be small but this was no small feat.  She is master of the porch, but when it comes to venturing off the stairs she wants nothing to do with it.  (Yes, I am totally aware that all of her neurosis are my fault).  We had to carry her down the stairs, and she didn't get more than a few feet away from daddy or I but she's little, so little steps in the right direction are ok. 

How is spring treating you in your area of the world?  Are you excited about finally being able to venture outside?  I know I am.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring For Cotton - Sew-a-Long

This spring I will be participating in Lucky Lucille's Spring For Cotton, vintage sew along.  I'm more of a knitter than a seamstress but occasionally I like to experiment with my sewing machine.  I'm a wiz when it comes to skirts, but usually anything more complicated than that causes frustration, depression and back aches.  My hopes are that having a group to go through this with will give me the help and encouragement that I need.  Also, having a deadline for projects usually works well for me. 
P.S.  I did not pay $17.95 for this pattern, that's just nuts. 50% off coupons are awesome!

Case in point, I bought this pattern and both of these fabrics last fall with grandiose visions of a whole new wardrobe.  At the same time, I bought enough fabric for 4 skirts as well.  Have you seen all of my new me-made skirts?  No, you haven't, the fabric is still in a big ol' pile in the bottom of my closet.  But with the spring comes a restlessness that I'm hoping will be a huge motivator.  As our daylight increases so does my desire to put down the knitting needles and get my bum off the couch. 


I absolutely love the tiny little birdies on this cotton fabric, it seems perfect for spring.  Maybe that's why it's taken me so long to sew these.  It was wrong for fall and now is the perfect time and I've got some wonderful inspiration.

So, I've got the material and I've got the patterns and I now can't wait to get these started.  If you like to sew and enjoy a bit of vintage flair, head on over to Lucky Lucille's and join us in our Spring for Cotton sew along.  I can't wait to see all the lovely projects.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

That's It, I quit, Moving on

It's hard to admit, but not every project is a success.  Every now and then a pattern or a yarn, or a combination of the two have been able to get the best of me.  Usually, I'll quietly rip out the project, hide the pattern in the depths of the trash, not let anyone know and move on.  Only the dog hears the tirade of cursing or violent sobbing that happens more than I'll ever admit to.  Thankfully, Cupcake keeps my secrets and guards my tender ego with all of the loyalty that a 6lb Chihuahua can manage.  But today, she doesn't have to keep my secret safe because I'm taking it upon myself to spill the beans.
She Knits in Pearls

Look at all that lovely knitting.  All those hours and hours of meticulous patterning that will again be ripped out.  Yes, AGAIN!!!  This is the third time I have gotten to this point, or close to this point and had to rip it back or completely out cause it's just not coming out right.  I just CANNOT get gauge!!!  And I'm tired of trying.  This has been 2 1/2 weeks of my knitting, all for nothing (except headaches and tears).  The most frustrating part is that I did a gauge swatch and it was spot on.  With the recommended needle size (US6), I dutifully did my swatch and was pleasantly surprised that it matched.  I should have known it was too good to be true.  I almost never get gauge with the recommended needle size.  I usually have to go down 1, if not 2 sizes. This time I got gauge on the recommended size, knit up half of the back THEN realized that I was off.  After ripping back, I did another swatch in the next needle size down.  That one was spot on too.  So again, I started knitting away, all the way up to the arm hole shaping.  DAMN IT!  It was still too big.  Third time's the charm, right?  Down another needle size and gauge looked great.  But what the fuck do I know, my gauge has supposedly been on all along? So what the hell happened?  Was it midterms looming, a neurotic Chihuahua, or a sick baby of a boyfriend driving me nuts and in turn making me knit tighter than normal?  Maybe there was 1 too many glasses of wine (or vodka) effecting my ability to read the numbers on the tape measure?  All of these, unfortunately are valid possibilities. 

She Knits in Pearls

It's so pretty that I just hate to give up.  But honestly, I don't know how much more abuse my delicate little (huge) ego can handle.  Three times is enough for me.  Three strikes and this sweater is OUT.  Maybe I should have taken it as a sign that I couldn't even get the post-it's that usually keep track of which row I'm on to behave.
Knitting Fail

What row am I on here?  No really, WHAT ROW???  I figured it out, eventually and that would have been ok if it only happened 1 or 2 times. It did not happen once or twice, it happened every time I took my eyes off the damn pattern.  Did I piss off the knitting gods?  I kept my promise years ago that I would never, ever use Red Heart Super Saver, ever again.  I have not broken my vows, why do you forsake me?

I'm not ready to give up on the yarn, it will be my next sweater.  Just not in this form.  I also have not given up on the pattern.  Hell, I paid for the pattern, I will make it work, eventually.  I really am that stubborn.  For now, though, I'm putting it away in a time-out on the naughty shelf along with the other patterns that have pissed me off.  I swear I will, someday, make those patterns my bitch.

In between the 2nd and 3rd tries on this damn thing I took a break from it, hoping to regain my mojo.  I really had thought that I had shaken off the bad knitting juju when I successfully completed this awesome vintage-inspired turban.

Vintage inspired turban
Last Friday, the lovely, talented, and always inspirational Theodora of Theodora Goes Wild  published the free pattern Herringbone Lace Turban.  It is written for a DK weight yarn, but considering I didn't have (couldn't find) any in my stash and I was IN NEED of a new quick project immediately to help me redeem myself, I wasn't about to let that tiny detail stop me. Because obviously yarn weight and gauge aren't important at all, right (see my knitting fail above)?  Thankfully, in this case, it worked out alright.  Better than alright, I love it.  It is a bit thick and I will most likely be wearing it during the winter months.  So, of course, here comes spring.  Not that I'm complaining about spring, I will never complain about spring!  Just yesterday it was 47 degrees, hallelujah.  That's not too shabby when just a month ago it was -40.  All in all, I will definitely be making more of these.  This could become my go-to project whenever I am working on something that needs a short time out.  Or, maybe not, considering I still got that damn pattern all messed up, even after this project. But I will not put the sins of the sweater on to this innocent little head wrap.  For today, she is my ego's savior. 
Today, I'm turning my silent knitting tragedy into a public comedy in hopes to keep my chin up and move forward.  Something about laughter being the best blah, blah, blah, whatever.  I think it may be working?  What do you do after a self-inflicted ego punch?

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Middy - My New Do

The Middy Hair cut
Last week I did something a little drastic.  Yep, that's me with all my hair chopped off.  Ok, obviously not all my hair is gone, but after getting 10ish inches cut off in the last 2 months and my hair being shorter than it's been in 15ish years, it sure feels like it's all gone.  Gone with it are the days of ponytails when I'm in a hurry and can't be bothered to style or curl it.  Gone also, is the security of a long mane to hide behind.  I never though I hid behind my hair, until it was gone.  Don't get me wrong, I am LOVING it!!!!  But I must admit the first few days I was feeling rather insecure and exposed.  A HUGE thank you to all of the people who boosted my confidence on Facebook and Instagram when I posted this pic and helped me love it even more.  You have no idea how much it has helped me embrace and love this massive change.

She Knits in Pearls - The Middy
I'd love to say that I had been contemplating this change for some time or that there was some big metamorphosis that I am going through that need to be shown on the outside as well as in.  The honest truth, though, is that I was having a bad hair day and happened to be driving by a salon.  Really, that's it.  While I was waiting my turn I googled 1940's vintage hairstyles and of course the Middy style was filling the screen on my phone.  Most of the photos were of longer versions or modified styles.  I guess if I'd have been in a safe mood, I would have gone for one of these longer versions.  If I had been thinking about my love of victory rolls, I would have gone for a longer version as well, oops.  Instead, I went full on authentic.  Which happens to be this short, 4 inch do that I am now completely in love with.

 Thankfully, the stylist wasn't insulted at all that I was giving her a diagram to follow and she did a wonderful job!  That side profile is really misleading though as you can see, my hair is no where near that long.  But hey, I'm not complaining.  I'm still experimenting with styling this new do.  It is definitely not a wash and wear style.  When I said this to my beau, he reminded me that in all the years he has known me, I have never washed and went anywhere.  Very true!!  Although I now must style it, the process is much easier and faster than I had expected.  I used to spend 15 minutes just blow drying it all, now it only takes about 3 minutes.  Plus, it only takes about half the time to curl now and the curl lasts 3 times as long.  So far, I have been using my 1 inch curling iron to style it but I am going to experiment with other methods as well. 

Styling the Middy
While I'm typing this, my head is covered in sponge rollers and a new-to-me vintage head scarf.  As you can tell, I could definitely use some practice putting in the rollers.  For your viewing pleasure, I've included a photo of it still damp and unstyled, fresh from the shower (I can't believe I'm sharing a photo of me sans make-up).  Now to just wait and see what happens when they are dry......

Now, what the hell do I do with all of my snoods as I now don't have enough hair to fill them?  What about all of my fills for bumper bangs and gibson rolls?  And the million ponytail holders that are strewn all over the house?  I'm sure I will save them all because you just never know. As much as I love the new do, I'm sure my love of victory and barrel rolls will push me to grow it out a little bit.  We'll see.  Stay tuned to see how it all turns out.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Shrinky Dinks Fun

Way in the way back, August to be precise, the lovely Brittany of Vavoom Vintage wrote a wonderful tutorial for making Pyrex Novelty Brooches using Shrinky Dinks.  If you didn't grow up in the 80's and have no idea what the heck Shrinky Dinks are, they are sheets of plastic that you can draw on and color, cut them out then pop them in the oven and they will shrink down in size and become hard.  Right after I read her post, I jumped on over to Amazon and bought me a pack.  That was a long time ago, I realize, but I just finally decided to play around with them. 

I searched around on google for a bit looking for design ideas.  My first idea was to find a cool cupcake picture to try to recreate.  If you don't know, Cupcake is my Chihuahua and I'm totally obsessed with her so having a brooch with a cupcake on it would be my little tribute to her.  Instead, I stumbled onto an even better picture and this is what I made from it.

Cupcake Chiuahua brooch

Check it out, its a Chihuahua with a cupcake.  How totally perfect is that? (Yep, I like, totally grew up in the 80's, for sure)  As soon as I saw it, I just knew I had to make it into a brooch.  I changed the coloring to be grey and tan, to look more like my little fur baby and changed up the cupcake a little bit too.  I absolutely adore how she turned out and I can't wait to wear her with pride.

She Knits in Pearls

Speaking of the little ball of fur, here she is helping me with sketches for the other 2 brooches I made.  I was so happy with how the first one came out, I couldn't stop and had to make some more.  I chose to do one with a classic WWII propaganda image "V for Victory".  Since I draw so much of my fashion and knitting inspiration from the 1940's, I though it only fitting to add a bit of 40's memorabilia to my ever growing brooch collection.

V for Victory

It's not perfect by any means, if you ever saw my hand writing in real life though you'd think this was absolutely stunning.  I'm pleased with the results and look forward to wearing it often.

Knitting brooch

To round out this list of obsession based brooches, you know I had to make one that was knitting related.  I think this sufficiently sums up how I feel about knitting, don't you?  I think I might even paint this design on a knitting project bag.  You know, cause I need more crafting in my life, right? 

I colored all of these with colored pencils I picked up at Jo-ann's and used E-6000 glue to adhere the pin backs.  That glue is amazing, I've used it with other hand made brooches before and they have held up wonderfully.  I had so much fun coloring these and channeling my inner child, it was a great way to spend a snowy winter day inside.  I'll be looking for inspiration to make more soon, I'm sure.  If you were going to make some, what kind of pictures would you want to color?


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Five Favorites - February

Alright, so I know it's technically March now and I'm a day late but as I was working on this post yesterday I had a surprise visit from an out of town friend and my day got hijacked.  So better a day late than never.  Way back in November, I had the idea of doing a monthly "Five Favorites" to share with you some of the things I am loving each month.  I had all the best intentions to keep it going and have even had lists made up on a few occasions.  In December, I did so many other posts based on lists, plus I wasn't at home during the end of the month that I decided that yet another list post wasn't the best idea.  January was absolutely crazy on my end.  I ended up with a crazy cold AND started school again.  Unfortunately, the blog suffered greatly and again, no Five Favorites post.  Well, the wait is over.  I was actually able to get my shit together, take pictures and actually post them in a timely manor (sort of).  It's about damn time. 

Being February and the month of Valentines day, a lot of things that I have been loving this month are red.  If you've known me for a long time or in real life, this shouldn't be a big surprise.  Black and red have been my main wardrobe staples for many years.  It has only been in the last year that I have finally come out of my red and black shell and discovered that other colors look good on me and that I can actually wear them.  But not this month, this month has been all about the red and black. 

She Knits in Pearls - 50's style

1.  This lovely 80's does 50's dress was way more 80's when I bought it for a whooping $5.99 at Value Village.  It was about 7 inches longer in the skirt and the sleeves were elbow length.  I saw the potential in it and spent an afternoon with the sewing machine.  This was supposed to be my Valentines date night dress but due to that massive migraine I was only able to wear it to school one day and again to run errands another day.  It's a little boring, being all black, but I figure that just means I'll have many styling options and be able to change it up with different belts, sweaters and accessories.

She Knits in Pearls - vintage sweater

2.  Speaking of sweaters to go with my new dress, I also found this amazing 1940's vintage sweater from an Australian company at Value Village.  It's 100% wool so it's a little scratchy, but the stitch pattern and overall shape is just to die for.  There's one tiny hole under the arm but other than that it's just perfect.  I am so in love with it, I can see me wearing the hell out of it until it finally gets too warm for a wool sweater.  

Cherry Brooch - She Knits in Pearls

3.  This amazing cherry brooch was a Christmas gift from my boyfriends mother Melissa.  It could have easily been a favorite for December or January as it has been an almost permanent fixture on my jacket since the day I got it.  Here it is on an fabulous wool blazer I got on my trip to Nevada.  I'm sure it will make the Five Favorites list just as soon as it warms up a little bit more and I can wear it more often.

red wine brooch

4.  While I'm wearing the cherry brooch on my winter coat, I'm still prone to wearing a little pin on my sweater.  This cute little rhinestone wine glass has been affixed to my cardigans a lot lately.  My mom and I picked up this tiny gem at an antique mall in Reno, Nevada.  I had never been to an antique mall before.  Holy cow, that was awesome.  Mom and I actually went there twice and saw so many new things the second time around, it was that big.  Me being a lover of red wines, I knew immediately she had to come home with me.

She Knits in Pearls
   5.  On my last Five Favorites, I shared my mug warmer that I had gotten.  Since I got that genius invention my tea consumption has gone through the roof.  I usually have 3-5 cups of tea a day.  I've been trying out a few new ones lately and this one is just delicious.  I have to stop myself at 2 cups so that I don't overdo the caffeine and sometimes that is hard.  I find a lot of teas I need to put sugar in to really enjoy them, but this one doesn't need sugar to bring out the flavors.  It's perfect all on it's own.  If you are a tea drinker, I highly recommend this one.

I'm happy to report that I'm settling in to the school routine well and have altered my daily routine so that I'm doing a little work every day.  It seems to be helping me to keep the headaches at bay to limit my online and offline reading to shorter increments.  Unfortunately, it means that I haven't been able to totally keep up on my blog roll.  I apologize to my fellow bloggers for not being present lately.  Even if I'm not commenting, I'm still reading when I can and love all dearly.


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