Monday, June 24, 2013

One of Those Outfits: I Made a Pencil Skirt!

What a weekend!  On Saturday night, we attended a beautiful outdoor wedding for a very old friend of mine.  It was so touching watching him get choked up at the sight of his bride and it was an honor to be there for their union.  The most important part of the evening though was what I wore, of course!  ;)
I've been feeling pretty good about myself physically lately so I wanted to wear something that kind of showed that off!  Why not, right?!  Plus, with a youngin' around, it's not that often that I get to vamp it up so I was excited to be fancy for an evening!  

I also wanted to wear something that I had made.  Hmm.  Well, I have made lots of clothes for myself but mostly of the baggier variety!  I decided on Friday night that I needed to make a pencil skirt to wear for Saturday's wedding.  I did some googling about how to measure for one so I made my measurements and made my cuts....only to quickly realize that I didn't have enough of the original fabric to make it all from one print!  So I pulled out a second fabric that I felt complimented the first and went with it!  Once I started stitching things up, I realized that I had made it waaaaaaaaaay too big.  I'm notorious for making handmade clothes for myself too large.  With the help of my mister, I started pinning away and slowly made the skirt smaller and smaller until it finally fit like a glove!  I made it high waisted so I could wear it with one of the crop tops I made a few months ago (I'm in LOVE with these crops!) and put a slit up the back of the skirt so I could dance, which I did...and boy are my leg muscles telling me about it!  Dancing in heals that I haven't worn in a few years should be a weekly workout routine ;)
I felt pretty, *sexy* even, and had a great time out with friends and WITHOUT a baby!  My folks kept Rio for their second overnighter with her and it went well for all involved!  Brent and I were able to hang out late, sleep in and flush the toilet past eight o-clock!  Ha!  
It was also fun to see the wedding party wearing jewelry that I had made!  It's always an absolute honor to have a creative hand in someone's wedding, especially if that someone is a close friend!  
And look at that, I got the man to pose for a picture too!  When I go vintage clothes hunting, there's not much that I can buy for him besides pearl snap western shirts and cool ties.  He has quite the collection of both now ;) He wore a deco skinny tie I picked up a while back and a righteously kick ass silver and turquoise belt buckle we scored from an antique jewelry dealer friend of ours.  He looked mighty spiffy :)

Skirt - Self Made / Crop Top - Self Made (more) / Bracelet - Antique Gift from my Dad found in the Czech Republic / Earrings - Flea Market / Shoes - From the great beyond

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fuzzy Friday: Ferret Flashbacks

I love ferrets.  There, I said it.  In my life, I've shared space and love with two of these smelly dolls.  While I don't have any ferrets right now, I'd love to have another someday in the future.  Over the past few weeks, I've literally been scanning every single photo and negative in my possession and have come across many photos of pets long gone which, of course, have sent me down memory lane.  Today, I share with you my ferrets.
When I was sixteen, I decided I needed a ferret and amazingly, my parents said ok.  I was one of those kids who ALWAYS had multiple pets in my bedroom, in addition to fish.  When I said I wanted a ferret, my dad began searching in the Bargain Post (basically Craigslist in paper form) and found 'Petunia' who was only two years old and was living with a young couple with a new baby.  They were selling the ferret, her cage and extras for $90ish bucks.  We drove home with a ferret in the car.  
She was HILARIOUS.  Ferrets are hilarious in general to me, though.  Hopping everywhere, making the most entertaining sounds, getting into EVERYTHING.  And of course they stink.  I quickly changed Petunia's name to Stinky.  It was much more fitting :)  
A short while after taking Stinky into our home, I left for college in Oklahoma City.  My mom and sister would take care of her but I always felt guilty that she wasn't getting as much attention as she did when I was around.  When I was home on the weekends or over breaks, I would take her with me everywhere I could.  My favorite place to take her was my Great Granny's nursing home where half of the residents would refer to her as a cat and the other half would refer to her as a rat.  She was so sweet to everyone though, regardless of how they viewed her.  She would sleep in my lap in my car and I later learned from a truck-driving cousin of mine that many truckers have ferrets as pets on the road because they do so well in the car!  
Fast forward to my junior year of college.  I decided one day that Stinky would come to live with me in OKC.  Animals weren't allowed in our campus apartments but I was already breaking rule upon rule while living there so I figured one more wouldn't hurt :)  I loaded Stinky up and got her situated in my efficiency apartment.  It was shortly after having her with me that she started losing her hair, and quickly.  A quick trip to a random vet and I learned that she had adrenal cancer which is incredibly common in domesticated, female ferrets.  The vet gave her six months to live.  
After that visit, we ditched the cage and Stinky began to live with me like a cat.  She either slept with me in bed or in my dirty clothes hamper.  She would come when called, was so loving and became my ultimate college sidekick.  At times her hair would grow back completely and at other times, she would be completely bald.  I remember getting caught by maintenance once for having her in the apartments but once he saw a bald ferret, he let it slide.  
My second ferret came into my life around this same time.  My boss' son worked at a pet store which sold ferrets.  One started to lose her hair which was that tell tell sign of adrenal cancer so they were going to put her down until I got wind of it.  Stinky then had a sister, Segunda.  
Segunda was absolutely beautiful but was CRAZY.  She had been handled very, very little in her captive life.  She stayed with Stinky and me in the apartment until I took her home to my family.  My sister deserves all of the credit in the world for taming Segunda.  She ended up being just as sweet as Stinky, which was the epitome of a sweet ferret.  When I moved back to Tulsa after college and moved into my little basement apartment, Segunda came back to live with Stinky and me.  
At almost ten years old, we lost Stinky.  She had begun to have seizures occasionally until they became more frequent and finally, had one where she literally screamed.  It killed me.  I took her in that day.  THAT killed me.  I credit her living cage-less for so long and for Segunda to keeping her young and active for her unusual ferret longevity.  Segunda continued on for another year until her illness got the best of her.  My sister and I were with her at home when she passed.  
Every time I go to the pet store, I stop and stare at the ferrets.  I always said that they could put a smile on your face no matter what kind of day you were having and I still stand by that.  I'll always be thankful for my time with those two smelly kids and for the memories I have to hold on to.  Having a ferret as a pet is completely different than having a dog or cat, that's for sure, but just like having a dog or a cat, they'll impact your life in ways you never imagined.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

One of Those Outfits: The Great Clothes Purge

This past weekend, we participated in our annual neighborhood garage sale, mainly selling clothes.  I have recently purged TONS of my vintage clothes stash and am working on finding them all new homes!  In fact, I have confirmed today that I'll be selling up at the Flea Market this Saturday to try and move the rest of the pieces.  I will say, there are some gems in there!
Anywho, after the garage sale, Brent and I both completely emptied out our closets from top to bottom so he could install closet lights!  You think you love someone and then they go and put a light in your closet.  Deal, sealed.  ;)  While he worked on the lights, I went through every. single. item. of clothing that I have and purged like I've never purged before.  Too bad we didn't do this BEFORE the garage sale!  So not only do I have a well-lit closet now, I have one where hangers actually move around on the rod!  Amazing!
This week I've been wearing things that I haven't worn in for-evah in an effort to see if I REALLY need them still and also because I'm seeing old pieces in a new light!  Maybe I should do this clothes purge thing more than every five years.  Hmmmmm.
This yellow vest I actually made several years ago when I first was getting familiar with my sewing machine and to be honest, I'm not sure I've ever worn it!  It was once a table cloth, actually, that I bought to use as just that but it had a HUGE stain on it that wouldn't come out so I got to chopping.  I made a wrap skirt out of most of it and then quickly made this jacket out of the scraps.  I also made a little scarf out of the remaining scraps of the scraps.  :)  I'm so glad I rediscovered this!

The dress was one of the very few maternity pieces I picked up last year.  It's SUPER long to accommodate big bellies so without that, I do a bit of tripping over it but I manage :)  I just love the color of it and the layering options!  You can see it with a bump at 35 weeks along here.
And in my typical matchy, matchy fashion, I had to dress the kiddo in a coordinating outfit.  I sure hope she doesn't hate me for this when she's older!  :)
(Bonus Cuteness:  While I took solo photos, Rio and Mondo hung out in the grass together.  The second I sat her down, he sat right next to her and did a little rolling around.  Adorbs, yes?)

Dress - Target Maternity '12 / Vest - Self Made from a Tablecloth / Belt - Estate Sale / Earrings - Busted Trumpet

Monday, June 10, 2013

Busy Hands

This week, I'm finishing up FIVE custom orders.  For me, that's quite a lot at once!  I'm certainly not complaining by any means though! :)  

It seems like I sometimes fail in remembering to document these more random projects on the ol' blog so here's an effort to do so in one fell swoop!  Some projects can't be shown though due to being in progress or impending birthdays so here are just a few!
 The two little dresses above are for a baby-to-be in Colorado next month!  I used this pattern for the dress and this for the uh-dorable diaper cover!  Pret-ty sure I'll be whipping up a few more of these for Miss. Rio. What I love about them is that they are reversible and once they are too short to be a dress, they can be worn as a tunic over pants!  Cutest thing ever?  Maybe.
 Right around Valentine's Day, Rio begged me to make her next-door neighbor boyfriend a little something to show her love so I whipped up a little baby bow tie out of some scraps!  Um, I take back what I said before.  THIS may have been the cutest thing ever.  EVER.  Especially once I saw the handsome guy in it!  No wonder Rio has a crush!  ;)
 In the middle of my sewing fest of tanks, tops and pillow covers for Blue Dome, I decided I needed a new wallet, I needed it NOW and that I needed to make it.  I know, I don't understand my brain sometimes either.  Right about that time that I made these decisions, I ran into Owl and Drum (I could spend hours and LOTS of dollars there) for a fabric sale and found a pattern for a wallet!  Fate!  There were LOTS of pieces but once I made sense of it all, it was super easy and surprisingly fast to put together.  I freaking LOVE it.  I recently finished up a second one for my sister that I'll send to her one of these days :)   
 Finally (I think finally, at least!), I've been working on some wedding jewelry for a friend!  Yup, I still make jewelry, believe it or not!  I've really only been doing custom jewelry projects and repairs lately but I'll always be a jewelry maker first :)  

So with all of that out of the way, I've started making Rio a few dresses out of some of my old beloved tanks; have started thinking about a BIG refashion out of one of my old high school dresses that I LOVED; and have started playing around with my serger!  HOLY TOLEDO.  I am in LOVE with my serger.  AND it doesn't wake the kid like my sewing machine does!  I may never sleep again....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fashion for Drawing

Memories can be such a strange and powerful thing.

Have you ever had a memory that you weren't sure was yours?  Maybe it was something you saw in a movie or read in a book?  Or you confuse a dream with reality?  I'd like to think instances like that are common for people other than myself.  Usually, it only takes a minute to distinguish what happened when and to whom but for the past few years, I've had this one memory that has taunted me endlessly.

A while back, I was sitting on the couch and I had this instant, random flashback that I wasn't even sure was real.  I  remembered shoddily drawing pictures of clothes and outfits in fifth grade and charging my friends money to redraw them to their liking for pennies.  I told the mister about these memories but all the while, wondered if this was truly something that happened.  Later I presented these memories to my mom who confirmed that this was, in fact, something I did.

My memory of this was grand.  Just like someone remembers catching the biggest fish in the pond when it was really just the size of a perch, I remembered drawing pages and pages of outfits but figured that in reality it was probably only two or three pages max.  

I knew I'd never truly know how much I drew or anything more than that weird, vague memory floating around in my head so you can imagine the unbelievable shock when I ACTUALLY FOUND THE DRAWINGS!!!  
You may remember a while back, my sister and I climbed into the depths of dusty storage boxes at my parents' shop and relived our childhood.  We *thought* we had gone through and brought down everything that had been put up there that we wanted/needed/was stored up there from various house moves but with an impending business move in our near future (!!), I wanted to dig around up there one more time to see if anything was left and boy was there!  Not only did I find an actual box marked 'Briana's Clothes' (oh boy, was that a fun one!!!) but I found my childhood crafts with projects in process, fabric scraps from Barbie clothes I attempted to make and my (hilarious) drawings.  
When I pulled out the packet of drawings, I literally gasped the loudest gasp I think I've let out in years!  I was FLOORED.  Following that were probably several words that would burn your ears when I started flipping through and realized that 'Fashion for Drawing' spanned FIFTEEN pages and TWO-HUNDRED drawings.  It WAS as grand as I had remembered it!  AND at the back of it all was an order sheet, WITH ORDERS!  Granted the orders were from my best friend (Hi, Tracy!), her sister, my sister and my mom but I had orders!  ha!
What really, REALLY blows me out of the water though is how much of the same person I am now as I was when I was ten years old.  I was a young crazy cat lady which I am most certainly now; I was a teacher (another post on 'Studies' to come one of these days) to my sister and Great Granny (I also found my multiple teaching notebooks this go around) which I am actually paid to do now; and I was a creative entrepreneur which I passionately pursue now.  
When people ask the age old question of 'What did you want to be when you grew up?', I can never think of an answer.  I now think that's because I was already who I wanted to be and I was already on that path of being that person, if that makes any sense.  If you're still reading this far (long-winded, odd post, I know!) you may think I'm a bit nutso or maybe you are nodding your head in agreement but finding these drawings was one of those AH-HA moments for me.  It's like strange things just clicked into place somehow.  
I don't know quite how to explain it all but just know, to me, this was all big.  Even bigger than the hammer pants in my drawings.

And no, I will not be taking any Fashion for Drawing orders any longer ;)

Monday, June 3, 2013

We'll Be OK.

Life with a baby is full of firsts.  Things we've done a million times at some point become a first for Rio.  This past weekend, Rio had her first cabin experience.
We have some family who have taken the summer off to travel alllllll over the US and decided to make a stop here to visit.  My mom took this as an opportunity to throw together a quick family reunion for the side of my family that doesn't get together all that often.  We had a great time and Rio put on quite the cute show for everyone.  Mondo got more human food that I think he's ever had before and got to run his heart out in the meadow.  The cabin escapes are good for us all.
I'm feeling pretty thankful for our life in Oklahoma lately.  None of our family or friends in any part of the state were affected by these countless tornadoes that have been ripping through in the past few weeks.  I DO NOT fare well with spring weather in Oklahoma but the longer I'm here, the more I just learn to buckle down, be prepared and know that it will pass.  Seeing the destruction we've seen lately is just so emotionally draining but what's been so uplifting are the unbelievable stories of survival and support that keep surfacing.  One thing's for sure, Oklahomans are strong, resilient people who are there for each other in times of need.  It's times like these that I'm the proudest to be an Oklahoman.  
The amazingly beautiful days we enjoyed this weekend were just a grand reminder to me that storms pass, literally and figuratively, and sunny skies are just a day away.  As cheesy as that sounds, it's true.
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