Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How about we all just wear blankets?

A long time ago, like two months, I came across this camo wool fabric when I was (still am) obsessed with camo and I went out on a limb and bought it, even though it's way more than I typically spend on fabric. Because I spent so much on it, I let it just whittle away it's time in my fabric closet, too afraid to make that first cut, because I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. After much hesitation, while reading when of my favorite blogs, Merrick's Art, I saw her tutorial for a cape and finally found the reason for my wool camo's existence. She posted a wonderful, super easy DIY post and you can find her instructions here! I followed it to a tee, but in the end I decided to sew the side seams together as well to make it have arm holes. I LOVE this cape. It has kept me so warm during this awful Siberian Express, Frozen Tundra, Michigan weather has been having. Styling it with my brown felt hat, I felt a little like an old western cowboy... but who wouldn't want to look like a western cowboy?!

But seriously, even if you can't/won't make your own blanket cape go out and buy one! People will think you're being super stylish (which of course you are) but you'll also be sporting the coziest, warmest trend of the season.

s/o to my amaze sis who braved the cold with me to snap these pics. Brave soul.

Cape - made by me
Top - Free People
Necklace - Madewell
Jeans - Joe Fresh
Shoes - Wolverine 1000 Mile
Hat - Forever 21

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I've Got Issues with Vogue

I love this skirt, but I hate sewing patterns. Gosh, they are just the darn worst.
I few weeks ago I was seeing some full knee-length skirts styled on the web, and I loved the elegance of them and the way they could be dressed up and down. It's an extra bonus to have the length - being a taller person, most skirts already look shorter than they should be on me (making this a great skirt for work as well!) Setting out for the fabric store a few days after deciding to make my own, I quickly found the fabric I wanted - a black shirting material. I chose this because it has a natural stretch in it that makes it super comfortable, and is heavy, but not too heavy, to drape really beautifully. Since it has been a long while since my last circle skirt, I wasn't quite sure how much fabric I should get. This is where patterns can be a great reference spot to find how much you need. After finding a Vogue pattern in similar style to what I wanted.. and realizing that patterns were way on sale... I thought.. hey, its been awhile since I've used a pattern, maybe it will make the skirt easier to sew. But I was WRONG, because patterns are LIARS. Ok, that was some pretty strong language... but I have reasoning for it. After measuring myself, and re-measuring myself, I decided what size I would make (based on the measurement chart on the pattern). After cutting out the pieces and sewing it together... trying it on.. I realize it's about 4 sizes too big! The pattern lied to me.. and while usually I'm quite happy when I have to go a size down when trying on clothes, this was not quite the same effect.
Lesson learned: either continue making my own patterns or downsize when following patterns.

On the plus side, (after alterations) I LOVED how this skirt came out. After I added pockets to the pattern as well, it was exactly what I wanted, and I can see myself wearing this many times, so it was probably a good investment of my time and frustrating efforts:)
Did you know Hush Puppies (yup, the shoes) made bags as well?? I didn't until recently and found this super adorable grey felt and leather bag. 
Pockets. POCKETS! Always add pockets. Best advice I could ever give.

 Also, the little girl in me has found that this is the perfect twirling skirt.

Skirt - Made by me
Jacket - Younkers
Top - J.Crew
Bag - Hush Puppies

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Arizona Adventure: 4/4 - Chasing Sunsests

Closing out on this adventure and style series in Arizona, I really don't have much to say.. except for this. LIGHT! My sister, (who is an amazing photographer website here) showed me a thing or two about shooting in the light to capture these beautiful images. Obviously, she's the one taking most of my pictures, since I can't really "selfie" this whole blog thing.. but I've been working on my photography as well, and you can see the lady behind the camera down below!
This is my quintessential "Arizona" outfit - it's got the turquoise accents, were are native to this part of the country, lots of sunshine, and an Aztec print maxi skirt. I got this James Perse top at a secondhand store that is actually a chain around Arizona and California, which I highly recommend - it's called "My Sister's Closet" and holds a lot of really great treasures with not a pricey hang tag.

Skirt - Forever 21
Top - James Perse: by way of My Sister's Closet
Necklace and Ring: Lucky Brand
Shoes: Sperry

Till the next time, Arizona - I'll miss you!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Arizona Adventure: 3/4 - You want to hear about cowboys?

Because let me tell you about the cowboys.  They are verrrry fine. On a girls' night with my mom and sisters in Arizona we headed out to a real genuine Row-day-oh. Like, this place was off-the-beaten-tourist-map, genuine. We walked into the bar/arena area and there was a horse standing at the bar. I'm not horsing around. There was. 
After finding seats for the show, it soon began - first announcing all the riding cowboys of the evening. And there were cowboy hats, and boots and chaps and good-looking men lining up. Unfortunately, they were all buck-crazy because they then proceeded to ride an animal three time their size with crazy eyes and two pointy horns. But it was pretty entertaining to watch, that's for sure.

Headed out into the backyard to shoot again - I just loved the lighting that we got during our times shooting in Arizona. Surprisingly, though, it gets quite chilly once the sun sets in the desert - so after making plans for the evening wearing layers was very important. Scarves essential.

I tried out a new hair clip as well - you may recognize the pin in my hair from this Post. It is actually a vintage brooch, but by sticking a couple bobby pins in it it became an awesome accessory to my Heidi braids.

Scarf: H&M
Jeans: Joe
Shirt: Free People
Ring: Lucky Brand
Shoes: Hush Puppies

One more Arizona Adventure to go - man do I miss it there already... Cheers!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Arizona Adventures: 2/4 - Red Hot Desert

So behind the house we were staying in was just this - a wide expanse of desert landscape. Incredible. After seeing this from our safe, fenced-in backyard I had to coerce my sister into venturing out there for our photoshoots, thinking what a spectacular backdrop it would be. She was a little bit of a nervous-nelly about going out there... especially after seeing the neighbor's cleaning ladies come running screaming and cursing in spanish, mixed in with the word "snake" and "rattler." After investigating, sure enough the loud sound of a rattle came from a baby rattler coiled up and ready to strike in the corner of their garage. Or maybe my sister became nervous when the night before we saw a coyote roaming through the cacti bushes. Or perhaps it was seeing the pictures my parents posted of a bobcat stalking back there the week before we came. While her jitters seemed unfounded to me, I bravely led the way through the brush, making loud noises to scare away any lingering wildlife so that we could carry on with this photoshoot.

I actually found this top while shopping the outlet malls in Scottsdale (there's like 10 there - it's outlet heaven!) I loved the neutral pattern in it with the red hot pop of color, then how can you resist a matching lip?

Don't these boots just fit in perfectly with the desert? I definitely think so.

More Arizona stories and outfits to share - stay tuned!

Top: Levi's
Jeans: Joe Fresh
Shoes: Wolverine 1000 Mile

Naomi Joy

Sunday, February 1, 2015

SNOW Day Essential Coziness

And now for a little break from the Arizona Adventures, to bring us back to reality. Cold winter days in Michigan....

The weatherman finally becomes your best friend, when along the bottom of the screen in small print you see SNOW day! In Michigan, there's plenty of opportunity to get these... yet they still seem few and far between. But when they do come around, it's time to buckle down and get cozy, because it means there's a legit blizzard happening outside. Here are some of my essentials for a day in:

1. Coffee.. coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate - any warm and comforting drinks, but my favorite: coffee.
2. Magazines - this is probably one of my biggest guilty pleasures.
3.  A good book. I usually keep my kindle stocked full of options, and can easily get lost in a book for the entire day.
4. Nail polish - I'm a hoarder when it comes to this. I love collecting new colors and painting my nails. Maybe it's the nail polish fumes getting to me, but it's really soothing activity for me.

My bed is one of my favorite spots in the house - I mean who's isn't it?! Not only is it the comfiest spot, but I am obsessed with bedding and pillows. I love the cleanness of a white comforter or duvet, and being able to paint on it with many colors of pillows. For a place where we spent the majority of our day in, it's important that you are using fabrics that are gentle on your skin through the years. I recently discovered the simple and  elegant bedding at Parachute Home- a great natural canvas to start building your room around.

This is my chair. A chair I dreamed for my room but didn't know if I'd find. But walking into the tinieset antique store in Grand Rapids, there it sat. And unlike many antiques, it didn't even smell!

 My work station - filled with lots of the people I love in my life, who daily give me inspiration.
 I did mention coffee, didn't I? :)

And now to watch hopefully a repeat of last year.... Go Seahawks!

Naomi Joy