March 27, 2012

DIY: How to Hem Your Own Pants

One major drawback of being on the short side is living in a world where every pair of pants seems to have been made specifically for lady giants. Even when I opt for the ‘short’ length option they are still almost always several inches too long. Who has the legs to fill all of these lengthy jeans? Certainly not me, so I am often left to improvising my own shortening solution. 

Many jeans and pants I simply cuff because I like that look, but when every pair of jeans you own starts to look this way, your chances of being mistaken for an extra in The Sandlot are exponentially increased. There are “fancy” ways to hem pants with a hidden stitch but I don’t really like that look and it seems to take more effort than I’m willing to put in. 

With these thoughts in mind, I bring you a simple and quick way to hem your own pants. Only basic sewing skills required! 

What You Need
Sewing Machine or Needle
Thread (To match the stitching in your pants) 
Sewing Pins 
Chalk or White Crayon/Colored Pencil 

How To Do It
1. Put your pants on inside out and make a mark with your chalk where you’d like the hem to be. You might want to try on shoes for this step to make sure they fall just right. 

2. Cut your pants 1 inch below the mark you made and roll the extra material up so that the edge meets up with the mark you made. Fold it over itself again and pin in place. This should make the pants the right length and make a clean looking hem on the inside as well. 

3. Sew using a straight stitch along the top of the inside fold. When your stitch gets back to the start do a few backstitches to secure the hem. 

Voila! Pants that don’t make you look like you’re playing dress up! This is also a good way to make cropped pants to show off those fabulous ankles or hem anything that you want to shorten, like a great thrifted dress that overwhelms your short frame. 

I hope this is clear, but I’d be happy to answer any questions! Do you have any tips for fixing the dreaded long pants syndrome? 


March 23, 2012

OBSESSED: Mood Rings

My nearly lifelong obsession with mood rings can be traced back to a fateful 1991 viewing of the film My Girl. If you’ve seen the movie you probably know that beyond the overpowering themes of loss, friendship and coming of age (And - SPOILER ALERT - FATAL BEE STINGS! WHY?!?!) there is also a fixation on the mood ring worn by the main character, Vada Sultenfuss, which is given to her by her best friend (and would-be future husband? WHY, BEES, WHY?). 

When I first saw the film I immediately grilled my mom about the “magical” powers of mood rings and why I’d never seen one. Since they were more popular in the 70s when the movie is set, it was no surprise that this 90s kid had never come across one. 

Perhaps through my sheer mind power, the undeniable magic of mood rings, or perhaps because they were prominently featured in a very popular film, mood rings became more common in stores around this time. Score! Now I could get one at the mall or at the checkout of every single convenience store. Want one with a dolphin jumping over a mood ring moon? A teddy bear hugging a mood ring heart? A silvery peace sign awash with mood ring magic? NOT A PROBLEM. They were all around me, but despite all the options I just wanted a simple oval mood ring exactly like the one Vada wore, and that is exactly what I got. 

It was a gift from my mom and I poured over the master chart of color codes to determine how I felt at every turn. I went from happy to merely content for no apparent reason and would suddenly dip into anxious without warning. I soon realized that, of course, these rings were cool and pretty but they most certainly did not have magical powers. Bummer. But they still looked cool and retro which was important to me even at age six. 

Here is a collection of some very cool mood rings that you can buy or just lust over, both new and old: 


March 20, 2012

DIY: Faux Fur Fox Scarf

I always love a little faux fur. While I’d never wear the real thing, a faux fur fox scarf gives a playful nod to fur stoles and coats of yesteryear while also doing its own thing as an offbeat, unexpected accessory. 
For a little time and very little cash you can make a fox scarf that’s as cute/funny/scary as you want it to be – here’s how:

What You Need
Scarf (I got this one at the dollar store and cut the ends off)
Dark brown faux fur 
Light brown faux fur
Eyes (I went googly, but any will do)
Hot glue gun
Marker or colored pencil

How to Make It:
1. Draw the shape of both a fox head and a fox tail on the back of your dark brown fur with a marker or colored pencil. Cut out these shapes.
2.  Draw a shape that mimics the bottom third of your tail shape on the light brown fur and cut this shape out. Hot glue this on top of the dark brown tail, matching up the bottom tips.
3. Hot glue your eyes in place on your fox head. I also cut out and added some light brown detail and a black felt nose for the face, which is optional. When you have your head and tail details glued in place, trim areas that didn't match up perfectly if needed.
4. Hot glue your fox head to one end of your scarf, making sure to center it widthwise. Repeat on the other end with the tail. You can also sew these instead, but my machine goes crazy with furs and other heavy fabrics.
That’s it! Wrap if around your neck so that both ends show in the front and you’ll have a delightfully strange new neck piece.
This can be repeated with tons of different animals – you can have an entire zoo worth of scarves! I think and elephant, cat or fish would be cool too. If you try it out show us pictures! What animal scarf would you make?


March 18, 2012

ROUNDUP: Weekly Links 3/18/12

Here's what I'm rounding up this week:

I seriously love buttons so this handcrafted bowl from artist Inigo Canedo caught my eye. I'd love to try a DIY version by glueing buttons over a balloon and then popping it! 

Artist Lisa Nilsson's Tissue Series is handmade from pieces of Japanese paper in such intricacy that you'd swear you were looking at the human body itself.

Etsy seller Lampify creates functional lamps from upcycled thermos containers, tupperware and other retro found objects. Cute and functional!

This compilation of inventive nail designs features your favorite characters from A Clockwork OrangeThe Great Gatsby, the tales of Edgar Allan Poe and more.

Don't let this AMAZING image fool you - The Room is the worst movie of all time. It's actually been dubbed the Citizen Cane of bad films so if you, like me, love so-bad-they're-good movies this needs to be on your to-see list. Check out this list to get even more ideas, although (full disclosure) some of these are more so-bad-they're-bad.


March 16, 2012

Fun & Simple Cocktail Recipes

OK, so this isn’t technically cooking but it’s holiday appropriate and it takes place in the kitchen. Good? Good. 

On St. Patrick’s Day many people like to gather in crowds at local bars to drink green beers while wearing “humorous” leprechaun hats or some other kind of festive green regalia. Because of my general distaste for bars, beer and other people, I’m not one of those merrymakers, though I do enjoy a good holiday themed accessory (especially a sequined bow tie). I’m more likely to celebrate by wearing green, rocking my leprechaun socks and actively avoiding public spaces filled with drunkies. 

I’m still fun (I promise!) so for me it’s all about mixing fun cocktails at home with one or more friends (anything more than yourself counts as being social) so in honor of a holiday which encourages the use of my favorite color, I offer you these simple and fun cocktail recipes. 
These classic and modern 'tails are easy to make, require only a few ingredients and are TASTY, which is the only way I do it.

 Creamy Cake Cocktail
2 oz. Cake flavored vodka
2 oz. Cream soda
Mix in a glass filled with ice and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream & a cherry.

Amaretto Sour
2 oz. Amaretto
4 oz. Sour mix
Shake in a cocktail shaker & strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with 2 cherries. (I like to pour a little cherry juice in too)

Basil Lemonade
2 oz. vodka
4 oz. Lemonade
2 Basil leaves, roughly chopped
Shake in a cocktail shaker & strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with an additional basil leaf.

Cherry Vodka Fizz
2 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Orange juice
2 oz. Sprite
Splash of lime juice
Shake in a cocktail shaker & strain into a glass filled with ice.

Shamrock Shake (non-alcoholic) 
I also found this way to make the McDonald's shake at home! 

2 C Vanilla ice cream / soy ice cream
1 1/4 C Milk / soy milk
1/4 tsp Mint extract
8 Drops green food coloring
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Do you have any favorite cocktail recipes?


March 13, 2012

STYLE: 30 Shoes Under $30

I can’t believe we’re SO close to spring! This time of year always gets me itching for fun new summer shoes. Because I hate to spend a lot on anything things I don’t use everyday (and because I have a closest that is practically begging me to stop filling it) I plan to keep my footwear indulgences to a minimum. 

With this in mind, I did some digging and found a ton of cute shoes and sandals that are all $30 or less! With these low price tags I definitely have a lot of options to enhance my warm weather look without breaking the bank.
30 Shoes Under $30
[Click Any Shoe Below to Get Details on Where to Buy]
Which ones would you buy? I already have the mint green canvas sneakers from Forever 21 and I’d love to get the blue peep toe flats from Target. Have you found any great shoe bargains lately? 

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