Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Visit Michigan: The Felt Mansion at Christmastime

This Christmas break you may find yourself binging on Hallmark Holiday movies while overdosing on your mom's homemade Fannie Mae fudge. While this may be quite the comfortable position to be in, it's time to roll off the couch and embrace what's in your backyard in Pure Michigan.
This past week my grandparents came to visit from Canada, and what better thing to do with old people, then visit old places. 

Just kidding. They're the ones indulging me, because historical homes are my favorite, and I have been wanting to visit this place for a long time now. The Felt Mansion is located on Lake Michigan, right outside the town of Saugatuck, and has been called home to the man who invented the calculator, seminary students, nuns, the state's most dangerous criminals, dusty bunnies, and just recently restored and open to the public. You should really check out this place, and hear more about it's story - Christmastime is an especially good time to go as they have decorations Christmas trees decorated from all over the world that make this the most wonderful time of the year!

 My lovely grandparents in the circle pond where The Felt Mansion hosts many weddings each year!
 Mother and daughter - you can see where I get my looks ;) These two beauty queens look like they haven't aged a day.

There's even a chapel right on the property where you can perform your wedding ceremony, then head to the mansion for the reception and party!

 My favorite trend right now - oversized, glitzy earrings. Perfect thing to spruce up a holiday outfit.
 This, is my grandpa. Though he may look like a tough Dutch man - he's a big ol' teddy bear inside.

 And this, is his beautiful wife and my grandmother, who loves jewelry, Costco, and laughing.

Merry Eve of Christmas Eve! I hope you all are spending the Holidays with loved ones.

Naomi Joy

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Deck the Halls with Holiday Cheer: Pillowcase Cover DIY

I have a confession. You know how you really aren't supposed to listen to Christmas music till the day after Thanksgiving? Well.. The week following Halloween I had my Amy Grant Holiday pandora station blaring, fireplaces going, and Christmas crafts surrounding me. And I have been just itching to share these creations, but had to wait for the appropriate Holiday season.

During this time, I discovered another confession I have to share: I LOVE pillows. And I LOVE how easy they are to make. And I LOVE how they freshen up a room so effortlessly. For these pillows I used felt for the letters and holly leaves - felt is an awesome fabric because you don't have to finish edges! And let me tell ya, for a sewer with not a lot of patience, that is a great quality to have in a fabric.

 I cut out the size and shape of my letters on scrap paper and laying it out on the pillow I was covering to see how they would fit. It's easy to just print out a word and cut out the block letters as well. Below is the shape of my Holly leaves - I cut out that shape on two different shades of green.

What do you do around the Holidays to bring some Christmas Cheer to your home?

Naomi Joy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An Accomplished Young Lady

I do a lot of reading, it's no secret, and one of my favorite topics is historical fiction/non-fiction. And in almost every. single. one. of these books it talks about what "accomplishments" a young lady should have. Needlepoint being a big one. While, my stitches used may have been too big and uneven to be considered refined, I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment when this craft was done. Does this make me a proper young lady now?? Or just mean that I'm turning into a 90-year old women... I  did just pick up knitting as well...

*Scroll to the bottom for directions*

I've seen a lot of modern day interpretations of needle point, and was inspired after seeing how easy it could be using longer stitches as seen here! So all I did was pencil in what I wanted to write out in stitches, then outline the christmas tree. The word stitches used were smaller and uneven - which I like the spontaneity of it, while filling in the Christmas tree just constituted reaching across from one line of the tree drawing to the other side, back and forth, back and forth back and forth. Best part is.. the more you let your mistakes show through the more it becomes unique.. and the bigger your stitches, the faster you're done! Double win.

Hope you have time for this easy craft during the busy Holiday season - I've already made another - it might become a new obsession of mine.... Christmas pillow DIYs are next up for the blog!

Naomi Joy

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winterizing Summer Vests : DIY

I bought this vest on a whim from Forever 21 one rainy day in Seattle, and immediately was regretful. I had no idea how to pair this vest - all the warm weather outfits I tried to pair it with just made the vest seem out of place. It was the right style for the wrong season.
Exasperated, I gave up and gave the vest to my sister - who gave it a loving home for a few months until a stroke of genius hit me. Seeing all the jackets with leather sleeves on Pinterest and in the stores inspired me to turn the vest into a jacket with leather sleeves. 
Begrudgingly, my sister gave me back the vest, whispering "Indian giver" as she handed it over. But luckily for me, she didn't hold it against me for long - I mean she was the one who photographed this shoot, so that means she's forgiven me.... right Allie??  

*Scroll to the bottom to see some pictures and brief instructions.*

While I was in the fabric store I was debating how much leather I would actually need.. humming and hawing, the sales associate convinced me that I definitely need a 1 1/2 yds... well now I have a lot of extra leather for future projects! But a yard will be just fine.

To make the pattern for the arm sleeve, a folded a scrap muslin the long way down and laid out my vests armhole, lining up the top seam of the shoulder on the vest with the folded fabric. Trace along edge of front armhole. then flip the fabric over, along with the vest and do the same for the back side of the fabric (usually the front and back sides of the armhole aren't symmetrical). Then I took another jacket that I felt comfortable in with the sleeves and measured the width to see how long my sleeve needed to be and how wide.

Cutting out my pattern piece on my leather, I followed the steps of any usual sleeve sewing instructions.

I also wasn't entirely thrilled with the jewels on the pocket and thought this jacket needed a little more hard core energy... so I added studs to the pocket which you can see in the pictures above.
Here's my *messily drawn pattern piece - its ok to try, scrap, and try again :)

Jacket - DIY
Scarf - Grandma DIY!
Shirt - Free People
Pants - J.Crew

Naomi Joy

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Schoolgirl Charm

 In school, one of my favorite subjects was history and more specifically historical architecture. I love visiting old houses and buildings and imagining all the many lives that have lived, worked and visited those places. I love seeking out mysteries, great love stories, or unheard tragedies. So it's no surprise that the location for this shoot today was an one room schoolhouse in my hometown (and though I tried all the doors and windows - the place is bolted shut!) I enjoyed walking around the building and reading a short blurb on when and why it was built. 
The schoolhouse was also a great backdrop for today's outfit. Today I wore one of my favorite sweaters from Madewell - a boxier cardigan with a hidden design mixed into the tan and red prints... Bunnies! While I love this sweater, I've always had trouble putting an outfit together with it because it does have a more unique fit. So pairing it with a more tailored top and bottoms gave it some schoolgirl charm. Adding the black uniform bow was the freshly sharpened pencils to my new notebook.

This is my "Career Bag."
Some of you may know that about nine months ago I was offered a position at my current employment and had to make the difficult decision to leave Seattle and back to Grand Rapids. Since my sister, Allie, was SOOOOOO so so excited to have me home, she thought of me immediately when she saw this Dooney&Burke briefcase at a local thrift shop. And it was a great welcome home gift, to bring with me to my first day of work:)

Shirt - Banana Republic
Sweater - Madewell
Jeans - Joe Fresh
Bag - Gifted/Thrifted
Shoes - 1000 Mile Wolverine

Photos courtesy of http://allisonchristiansphotography.com/

Naomi Joy