Tuesday, July 31

Of High Heels and J Crew

I've been trying to cut back a little bit on how often I go to Salvation Army and Goodwill. I could honestly spend an hour there every single day and not get tired of going. However, Chase and I are pretty dedicated to our budget, so I try to find other things to do instead. Like going to the library. My thrift store budget each month is fifteen dollars, which goes surprisingly far at a thrift store. Since I've started blogging and reading other blogs regularly, it surprises/shocks me how much some people are able to spend on clothing. Even if I were single and working a high paying job, I don't think I could justify buying brand new clothing multiple times each week. Growing up my dad made good money, and I would say we were/are a solid middle-class family, but they still instilled frugality and creativity in us. Whenever I outgrew clothes and told my mom I needed new jeans, she would take me to Goodwill and help me find jeans there. When I thirteen and fourteen years old, I used to be embarrassed to wear second-hand clothes when all my friends shopped at Kohls and Gap, but now that I'm older I look back and see the wisdom in my parents' lifestyle. I love, love, love it when somebody compliments my clothing and I say, "oh this old thing? I paid three dollars at the thrift store for it." I actually don't think I've ever said that before. But I would. Totally. Which is why Salvation Army and I are tight. 

Here are some recent treasures that I've found. 

Heels from Target -- $3.99. 
They are PERFECT for my sister's wedding. Her only requirement is that we wear nude/tannish heels, so I was thrilled to find these. Also, I have never worn platform heels before, but they really are so much easier to walk in than regular heels because your foot isn't at as strong of an angle. 

J Crew brand shirt -- $1.50. 
I honestly haven't worn this shirt yet. I can't figure out what to wear it with, because I feel just a tiny bit pregnant when I wear it. Which I'm not. Knock on wood. I guess I can't quite get into the JCrew fad. It's a cute shirt, but I don't feel like it fits me great. Maybe I'm just a weird size.

 Burgundy Leather Belt -- $.23
Oh yes, this belt was 50% off of its original price of forty-six cents. I snagged that sucker up. Belts are usually too big for me. Surprise. So I was happy to find this thin leather belt.

Now that July is almost over and we're starting a new budget, I will be returning to my love of thrifting. Hooray.

Monday, July 30

Before&After: Turquoise Desk

Our main piece of furniture in our apartment is a solid wood desk. However, it also doubles as our dresser and entertainment center. I found this for sixteen dollars at Salvation Army, which was a steal! It had a heavy wood door that covered the desk part, but we threw that part away because we liked the  more open design. The desk really wasn't bad looking, but there was a big X markered on the front by some hapless employee, and it felt too dark for our small space. And everybody knows turquoise brightens everything. Right?

Here's how we refinished it.

We started by sanding it down lightly. I think we spent about thirty minutes sanding it, and honestly we probably should have spent longer. The desk had a very glossy finish, so we roughed up the texture to give the paint something to stick to.

After that we wiped the dust off with a rag and made sure it was clean for painting.

Check out the drawer pulls! :/ Those are a definite no.

First coat of paint...

And second coat. It started looking SO much better!

I love the way our computer chair looks with the desk--so classy and colorful.

This project was the most difficult one I've done. It took us around five hours to finish, not counting the drying time, but it looks so good in our apartment. I definitely couldn't have done it by myself, because we had to pick up the desk to put a tarp underneath and move it away from the wall, and plus it's more fun and encouraging doing projects together. :)

When we finally finished there was much joy and happiness. 

And by joy and happiness I mean beer and hot pockets. Hey, we just refinished an entire desk/dresser. You can't judge our unhealthy dinner.

Saturday, July 28

Aeropostale Sweatshirt Redo

I have had this sweatshirt in my closet for awhile, but haven't worn it often. It's a little bit too big, and I'm not a huge, huge fan of Aeropostale. However, I adore white sweatshirts, so I was excited to figure out a way to redo it.

The first thing I did is cut the sleeves off to make them shorter.

The pocket went next...

I tried on the shirt and realized that I was a little over-zealous with cutting the sleeves shorter. So I opened the sleeves up, ironed them flat, and lined them with a black t-shirt material I had on hand.

I sewed the sleeve back up and tried to turn it right side out and realized I sewed it incorrectly. Awesome, MaryBeth. I cut the seam off because I'm too lazy cool to use a seam ripper and re-sewed the sleeve correctly this time.

Do you recognize this fabric? I used it on a chair reupholster and had a lot left over. I laid the fabric on top and pinned it into place, then turned the shirt inside out and sewed along the front seams.

I trimmed the excess fabric off the side and re-attached the pocket.

An added bonus of the new sweatshirt is that it's SO warm. It feels like I'm wearing a sweater and a sweatshirt. Which I kind of am...

Friday, July 27

Floral and Print Copycat

It's Friday, Friday, Friday. Which is exciting. Not because I have the weekend off work, seeing as I'm still currently unemployed, so every day is like a Friday to me. But it's exciting because one of our college friends from Texas is going to visit for the weekend. Great, right? 

For today's copycat I found some leggings and boots pictures, but then I realized it's 83 degrees outside, so maybe something cooler would be better. Plus, I live in Chicago. There will be plenty of time for boots and leggings. Who am I kidding. 

Here is my inspiration:

Here's my take on it. Clearly I don't own a pair of leopard skin booties (seriously?), so I substituted black striped flats. Zebra, cheetah, Potato, potahto. whatever.

Outfit Details:
Shirt-- Target $8
Shorts-- Bealls $5ish, I think
Shoes-- Payless $4
Cardigan-- Goodwill $3
Total cost: $20

Linked with:

FrillsforThrills CopyCats

Thursday, July 26

Feather & Flower Fascinators

For my sister's wedding in two weeks, I'm making her hairpiece and the flower girls' hairpieces. I went to Hobby Lobby to buy supplies, and after approximately two hours, I left with a bag of supplies for twenty dollars.
flowers, two kinds of feathers, blue glass pearls, alligator hair clips, crystal brooches, felt

$1.99? Way to go Hobby Lobby. I'm probably contributing to the exploition of people in some  factory... dang it.

The small white roses looked kind of chintzy the way they were, so I took them apart and ironed the petals.

I stacked up several petals on top of each other, securing each layer with a dab of hot-glue. Afterward, I sewed the pearls in the center. I was going to use hot-glue to attach the pearls, but a few of them popped off the glue, so I sewed them on then glued them into place.

I cut a piece of felt out and glued some feathers to the top, then glued the flowers on. Make sure to trim the felt so it won't show from the front.

For the final step, I glued the felt pad onto the headband after I marked where I wanted it placed. On the inside of it, I glued a similar felt piece to make sure it would stay in place.

I did the exact same thing for the fascinator clip, except I sized it smaller and attached it to an alligator clip. The hot glue didn't hold it terribly well onto the clip, so I sewed a felt pad onto the clip, make the fascinator on a different piece of felt, then hot glued the two together.

Later today I'm going to make the hair piece for the bride, so I will have pictures up sometime this week. This was honestly a ridiculously easy project. It took a little over an hour, because starching and ironing the flower petals was time-consuming. Who knew?

Wednesday, July 25

Computer Chair Refinish

My eyes almost went permanently crossed trying to figure out all of the HTML code to redo my blog aesthetics, but I finally feel done. You know that feeling when you've been working and working, and then you look at it and think: "Yes. That's it."? That's the feeling I had when I redid my header for the fifth time and changed my navigation bar. So now I am done.

Which means I'm returning to a regular posting schedule. Do you remember this chair reupholster? I loved this chair and felt like I poured a tiny bit of my soul in it by refinishing it. Unfortunately, even with Home Depot's help, the chair never was sturdy enough for me to feel comfortable leaning back in it. We would sit on the chair, but had to keep our hind parts on the very front of it so it wouldn't tip backward. Seriously. Harper, our lovely little slightly chubby cat would jump on it to sit down and it would tip over. Not the greatest chair for keeping.

So with a heavy heart we took it to Goodwill, but with joy in my heart I went shopping for a new chair. 

I found this dressing room chair for seven dollars at Salvation Army. We live in a 300 square foot apartment, so this little chair seemed perfect!

The dirty gold color had to go!

 With some four dollar spray paint and a shady area, Chase gave the chair two thin coats of spray paint.

Meanwhile, I bleached the white leather cushion.

 Then I soaped and rinsed it so there wouldn't be any bleach residue on our chair.

Make sure to use an old rag, just so you know. :)

 The frame looked SO.MUCH.BETTER afterward.

It also looks great against our newly painted turquoise desk/dresser/entertainment center (hey, it's a small apartment, okay?). Actually, pretend like you didn't see that. I'm going to post pictures of that beastly project in a few days. Enjoy the preview.

Harper approves!

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