Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Old + Old = New?

Chunky jewelry goes in and out of style. Over the past few seasons it has definitely been the to go-to accessory to spice up any outfit. Pair with a causal tee and jeans or top off that cocktail dress, you cannot go wrong. I love love chunky funky necklaces but hate shopping for them, there are too many choices! I decided to make my own.

The first one I made was using various beads strung on knotted ribbon. The asymmetry of the beading and ribbon work makes this necklace causal yet dressy.

This is one of those love me for my flaws type necklaces. The beads are slightly heavy for the thin ribbon but I like how the weight pulls on the knots in the ribbon to make it less then perfect.

The second necklace I made is a concoction of antique necklace parts and an old scarf. I am always looking for ways to reinvent things. I went to an antique store a few weeks ago and bought a zip top baggy full of various jewelry. The women who ran the shop thought it was broken jewelry, to my surprise and happiness only one earring was broken; what a steal! What caught my eye was this awesome cream and gold pendant. (I am still trying to find the perfect accompaniments to go with it.) The pendant was on 2 strands; one chain and one beaded. I decided to use the beaded one for the back portion of this necklace. I also took a trip to the local Salvation Army on a hunt for some funky scarves. I came across four and thought the green one was perfect for the beaded necklace. I washed and dried the scarf, then folded and knotted it. The final product is as shown. Old + Old + creativity= a new necklace ready for a night on the town!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fungus Amoung Us!

Continuing my reusable shopping bags, I came across an interesting Ted Talk today. Originally posted in October 2010, this talks about using earth and its natural processes to replace man-made materials thus protecting the environment. I have yet to see these replacement Styrofoam and I wonder what is the cost comparison to Styrofoam. My suspicion is that if you buy cheaper products you will end up receiving the evil Styrofoam. Is a product that cost more money worth it if its packaging materials are compostable?

Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic? | Video on

Reusable shopping bag sans store name

I am not sure about everyone else but I hate the reusable grocery bags that have store names plastered all over them. I like to use my bags at different stores even when I go shopping at a mall! I have made reusable bags in the past out of a soft burlap material. This time I decided to use a remnant of ripstop nylon and give a different shaped bag a whirl. This is the result! Not my best work but I have not sewn with nylon in a while so I will forgive myself this time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cork Board Gets a Face Lift

I was cleaning and dusting my room today. I decided it was time to de-clutter my life of childhood/teenage paraphernalia and that included my cork board. I was probably around the age of 11 when I first covered my cork board with fabric. I was into a rainbow glitter at the time. After 11 years it was time for the cork board to get a face lift. I was first removing old items, including a collage of *NSYNC picture clippings when the hook came of the wall. I guess it was the board telling me it was time. I ripped off all the old fabric, ribbon, and accessories. After about an hour of work, ta-da! A new board!

How did I do this you say? I cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the board. I have bins and bins of fabric so I pulled a cute calico from one of them. If you need to buy some fabric around 1/2 yard should do it depending on the size of your cork board. I first stapled the fabric to the right side of the board at the intersection with the frame. Next, I flipped the board over, wrapped the fabric around and secured it with hot glue. I also stapled the fabric to the back as well for extra security. I hot glued some trim to cover the staples, added some lace, and buttons. I hung the board up using command picture hanger strips.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coupon Trip 8/17/2011

About 2 months ago I started to coupon. Not extreme couponing but relatively close. I do not but 77 mustard's because they are only $0.39 each. Rather I would get just 2 in this instance. I buy what my family needs or will potentially need ( health and beauty items, pasta, cereal etc.)

Each Sunday I buy 2 newspapers. I spend about 4-5 hours clipping, filing, and researching. I have a few databases and forums that I check daily. I print out shopping lists from the Coupon Mom site. I go to each store that I shop at and scour through the deals. I do not print out everything, just the items I have coupons for or will potentially buy. Next, I match up weekly ads to the list because of regional sale and price differences. I take a sharpie and cross out items I do not plan on buying. Then I pull the coupon from 1 of my 3 binders and put it in the store envelope. I keep one envelope for each store I shop at. I mark on my sheet the quantity of each items I plan to buy and the potential cost. I am trying to predict costs now that I am in my second month.

Today's shopping trip includes Target, Walgreens, and CVS

#1 Target

I split up my purchases into 3 transactions in total I bought:
  • 2- Olay Single Bath Bars
  • 2- Satin Care Shave Gels (bonus 20% size)
  • 2- Schick Hydro 5 Single Razors
  • 2- Dove Men Deod0rant
  • 2- Dove Ultimate Deodorant for Women
  • 1- box Pampers Prints Cruser's Diapers 72 ct (My friend is pregnant and I plan on giving a gift basket for her baby shower)
  • 1- Sesame Street Onesie
  • 1- Bic Flex Comfort 3 Razor 3 ct
  • 1- Vaseline for Men body and face lotion
  • 1- Dropps Laundry Detergent 26 ct
My total out of pocket expense was $40.99. I save $48.12 for a percentage of 54%. Not fantastic but not bad considering I bought diapers.

#2 Walgreens

I split up my purchases here into 4 transactions. I go into the store with a specific I plan. I not only write down each item for each transaction but I also separate my coupons into paper clipped bundles with a sticky note denoting which transaction it corresponds too. My total days' purchase is as follows:
  • 1- Dial Men's travel lotion
  • 4- Reach Total Care soft tooth brushes
  • 1- Neutrogena Acne Wash 1oz travel
  • 3- Kleenex 184 ct
  • 2- Mead 9.5" envelope 50 ct
  • 1- Mead 6.7" security envelope 80 ct
  • 1- Scunci No slip hair ties (I was in desperate need)
  • 1- Scunci Hair clips
  • 1- Walgreens Daytime Cold gel tablets 20 ct
  • 1- Walgreens Nighttime Cold and Flu gel tablets 20 ct
  • 1- Nyquill plus Vicks Cold tablets 10 ct
  • 2- Skintimate Shave Cream
Total out of pocket was $20.30. I save $40.86 for a percentage of 66.8%. I was not planning on purchasing the cold tablets but they were clearance with an expiration date of 2013, I figured I would stock up early with they were $1.39 a box.

#3 CVS

I have had my best luck at CVS but not this week. I only purchased one item. A Revlon Nail Enamel on sale for $4.99. The savingstar coupon machine gave me $3 off any Revlon Cosmetic item. The out of pocket was $1.99 plus tax and I received $3.00 in Extra bucks for purchasing the nail polish. Woohoo I technical made money. Usually I would use the Extra Bucks on another transaction but since there was not anymore, I will save it for next time.

In the 2 months I have been couponing I have gotten many products free or close to free. I have to constantly remind myself that I cannot get everything for free. I have plenty of deodorant, tooth brushes and toothpaste. When my friends run out, they com shopping at my house!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Welcome to Wear's the Manual

I should start out by giving a briefing on what this blog is all about. There is no manual to life. While there is plenty of advice and research out there in the world, no one person has all the answers. I graduated this past May from the University of Rhode Island with two degrees: a Bachelor's of Arts in French and a Bachelor's of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design. I love sewing and fashion. While there are manuals and instruction books on how to make a french seam, styling and fashion, in general, does not have one step by step instruction manual. Each person has their own style and point of view. My goals for this blog are to discuss the ins and outs, ups and downs, successes and faux pas in the realms of life, fashion, and my sewing projects/adventures with occasional side notes on my new hobby obsession of couponing!

With all that said I am excited to start my first blog post. I have a new favorite sewing tool, the Dritz Quick Turn for turning loops!

Gone are the days of sewing a piece of cording on the inside or using the bodkin loop turner and having it unhook half way through the turn process. You can get this tool at your local craft or sewing supply store. I purchased mine at Joann Fabrics. Retail price is $7.99, luckily I had a store coupon to get 40% off. Either way it is worth the money. You can turn a loop in as little as ten seconds. I used to give up after ten minutes with my other methods.

I used this tool to create a fabric tube to create this funky necklace. The chain in 18 1/2 inches and the fabric part is 10 inches for a total length of 28 1/2 inches. It took lots of trials and errors to get this look. I had the fabric fray, beads with small holes, and jump rings that broke. Finally, I got the finished product with a little good luck from my new tool! (Did I mention I love this thing?)

*note: I had to tie up the chain a bit for the photographing process

<3 Sarah