Friday, May 30, 2008

A Gift for Boy


Boy has only once EVER before asked me to make him anything. So the other night when he bought a new pair of sunglasses and decided he needed a case, I was SO ON IT!

I made him one from the last, precious remaining bit of my London inspired fat quarter from Ebay and lined it inside with some batting to make it protective and then red and black buffalo check flannel inside, which i thought would be nice and soft to keep his lenses from scratching. I basically just made a makeup bag, but sized to fit his glasses and adding batting. The batting is really easy to install, just think of it as an additional layer to your exterior fabric. I didn't have to do any extra sewing to install it, just a little extra assembly :)



The glasses (not the ones pictured, those are mine!) came from Loehmans which is totally a bad ass place to shop. We walked down there (yep) from my apartment (a reason to be sad I'm leaving it!) on Wednesday night. While we were there I also got a dress for an upcoming wedding . . . black on white toile, sleeveless, v neck and knee length . . .TOTALLY cute and marked down from some absurd price that doesn't bear repeating to under $40. I also ordered this jacket online to use as a cover up for the evening (its an outdoor garden wedding running afternoon through evening, I'm expecting a range of temperatures!). The jacket arrived in the mail today and I absolutely love it, and I was THRILLED beyond belief to discover that it has POCKETS!! I'm not sure why I'm so enamored with pockets . . . but if my sewing skills enabled me to make actual clothes for myself you can bet EVERY SINGLE THING I made would have them. They're dope.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Legendary


Today was farmer's market day and my haul was SO FECKING IMPRESSIVE that I had to share . . . and yeah, that involved splaying all of my goodies out on the kitchen counter at work and taking a photo. So?

I got: a bunch of green onions, a bunch of leeks, a pair of sweet onions, a bag of 4 maui onions (can you tell I like onions?), 4 limes, a bunch of cilantro, 2 bunches of carrots (one sweet, one regular), a head of cauliflower, 2 ears of white corn and a bunch of little red tomatoes.

I spent $11.50.

$11.50!!! Take that major chain supermarkets, and shove it you know where. (Sorry, but I spent $4.15 for a cauliflower once at Ralphs and I never really got over it.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Did someone say "nap"?

This last week or so has been kind of a pain in the ass. To kick things off, I got a cold. At first I thought it was just REALLY BAD ALLERGIES which I'm prone to anyways so I harassed the office HR person about the building's air quality and took more benedryl than I'd care to admit to taking. By Thursday morning though I realized I was well and truly eff-ed with some kind of actual illness. I stayed home from work, took several naps, and recovered nicely just in time to watch the boy come down with my exact same cold. On the Friday preceding a long weekend. Well, shit.

We managed to have some fun anyhow. We went out Friday night and saw Indiana Jones which was a SPECTACULARLY good time. On Sunday went up to a cabin that the boy's family owns in the mountains for some hiking (in the drizzle . . . ill advised for the boy really but I made him a nice pot of veggie soup afterwards). Then had a BBQ with my parents on Monday.

Then it was back to work on Tuesday and by "work" I mean not only the job that pays me but the job of real life, which has become much more complicated recently with a wedding date looming right around the corner. I'm happy to report though that EXCELLENT progress has been made on the 'putting life together' front and that I'll be moving at the end of June! Oh, whats that? You thought the boy and I already lived together? See, that would be rational but its not exactly true yet. It turns out getting into a home which one owns is far, far more complicated than deciding to shack up with one's boyfriend and moving into the nearest apartment. Who knew.

But anyhow, HUGE progress has been made and I have movers lined up and everything. Soon the nesting can commence!

In between all the chaos and illness I've still been making jewelry . . . I bought a bunch of new coins (like, seriously, tons) and took them over to my dad to be drilled. I've got a slew of new items to list in my Etsy shop, including tons of coin charm bracelets similar to the one I made for Domesticrazy's birthday present. I've done a few variations on these . . . a lightweight version, a heavyweight version, and even a GOLD version that I'm going to list later in the week. Hooray for coinage!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Boots Botanics Skin Softening Body Butter

You'd think I own stock or something the way I rave about Boots products, but I don't. I just LOVE them to pieces and so I've got invested interest in helping spread the word that they're available at Target and CVS in an effort to make sure those stores keep stocking them. So I don't have to go back to flying to the UK w/ an extra suitcase once a year just to bring back a stash of lotions. (not exaggerating.)

The other day CVS had a buy one get one half off sale going on Boots products so I decided to try something new to go along with the face cream I needed anyways. Boots Botanics products are generally awesome, but this body butter really takes the cake. For starters, its $11.99 for over 14 ounces (thats pretty much double what most body butter tubs hold). Then there's the fragrance which is sweet but not fake-y or over the top. The packaging claims it contains honey and it smells like it might ACTUALLY have honey in it. Not like its pumped full of sugary, chemical fragrances but like there might be some honest to goodness honey floating around in there. And lastly there's the fact that it actually delivers on its promise to soften skin. I've had this weird scaly patch going on on the back of one arm (boy has been calling me 'part lizard') and after ONE USE of this cream it disappeared and has yet to resurface.

I think I've found a new favorite!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tiara action shots!


Ok, Ok . . . so I took some tiara action shots. If all my blogfriends, and even the most excellent and hilarious Swistle whose blog I've been stalking for ages, want to see action photos then I've got to post them.

Let it be known that my hair is totally gnarly and filthy in these pictures and on the actual wedding day I expect it to be at least a little cleaner. Although I'm not exaclty known for neat and tidy hair.

The first photo is an excellent shot of the tiara itself. The little round bits in between the arches are actually DANGLY so they move and shimmer quite a lot in real life. The second shot is totally gratuitous as its a better photo of me (having something to do with the fact that its blurry, I wonder?), but it does serve to give a better idea of the height of the tiara.

Seeing it in photos now, I think I'm actually more comfortable with the tiara-y-ness than I thought I was. I'm a bride, right? I'm allowed, right? I mean, the only times in a woman's life when she can get away with a tiara are a) anytime before the age of 7 and b) on her wedding day . . . so maybe I should take advantage of that little loophole.

Also, for the record, its a damn good thing the boy and I will be moving soon since I just spent half an hour standing in front of an open window taking photos of myself wearing a tiara.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Great Tiara Debacle

As promised, here's a preview of my ever expanding tiara collection!

I initially bought the headband style tiara on the far left from David's Bridal when I bought my dress (I know, I know . . . I SO didn't expect to buy a dress there. But they're sort of like The Gap of bridal, they've got good basics and basic was what i needed.) I bought it in the flower girl section. Still not sure how I feel about this.

The middle tiara, the more 'tiara-y' one with a bit of height to it, I bought at an antique store in Sherman Oaks. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it, its in beautiful condition, the comb makes it feel really secure and I love the fact that its an antique. My only reservation is that I think its, well, a bit too 'tiara-y'. I don't want to look back on my wedding photos and think I look like I'm wearing a costume, you know? (Says the girl who has a massive white dress to wear at a castle . . . our wedding webpage has a preview of my bridal coat (for over my dress) and my bridal wellingtons (yep))

The last option is the one that was missing in the mail for months on end. Its a vintage crystal headband from ebay. Its cute, but its a bit weathered . . I do like the vintage angle though.

So yeah, basically nothing has me convinced yet. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Crafters are the best people

Last night I got home to the most wonderful package from Domesticrazy! She sent a stack of handmade cloth napkins for the boy and I along with the most gorgeous Unakite donut shaped stone . . .I've had a necklace idea in mind for that type of bead for a while so I'm really excited to have one to play with! I'll post pics of the necklace once I've made it, but pics of the napkins are above (don't you just LOVE those fabrics!?!). THANK YOU so much, Domesticrazy! And the boy thanks you too because now he has proper napkins instead of the washcloths I've been making him use :)

I other mail related news, the vintage crystal headband I bought on Ebay months ago which went "missing" in the mail very mysteriously appeared in my work inbox yesterday afternoon. I'm going to do a post on The Great Tiara Debacle tomorrow, so I'll show you all pictures of it then :)

And in other wedding related news, the boy and I have a wedding website!!! I purchased www.hollylynne.com to eventually use as a place to link to my blog and Etsy shop from, but for now we're using it to
host the GORGEOUS wedding website my dad built for us. Its got Flash photo content. Its got Quicktime panoramas. Its even got some satellite Google Earth action. Check it out, I'd love to hear what my "blogfriends" think! (did you know I call you guys my "blogfriends"? Cause yeah, I do . . . :))

Monday, May 12, 2008

Summer Perfumes


Stella by Stella McCartney is pretty much my (and the boy's!) all time favorite perfume. I adore it, but in the Summer it can be a bit too heavy (have I ever mentioned how hot it gets in LA in the Summer? Cause in case I haven't, its like living ON THE SUN.)

So I was browsing around Sephora today thinking something w/ lots of rose in it would be nice, when what do I see but Stella Sheer which I sprayed on and immediately relized was Stella but lighter w/ more rose. It was all I could do not to check around the store for hidden cameras and mind reading sensors.

This stuff is awesome, my new favorite!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Remember Those Red Plaid Glasses?


The ones that nobody commented on so I therefore think y'alls probably thought were lame? Yeah, those. I BOUGHT THEM!!! :D

I got them in the mail yesterday, so a grand total of 10 days from placing the order. The prescription is perfect . . . no discernible difference at all between the Zenni glasses and my several hundred dollar optician's office Prada ones. And the frames are freakin' adorable, I don't care if nobody else loves them cause I DO! My grand total including shipping added up to $17.90 (I sprung for a pair of $12.95 frames instead of the $8 ones). I'm so pleased with them that I'm going directly from posting this blog entry to order a pair of prescription sunglasses.

And maybe these too. In burgundy. I'm serious. I love them.

Listening:  Meho Plaza- "The Beach" Album Release Party Tonight!"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Coveting

Hot damn, there are some great finds on Etsy lately! I've practically had to gnaw off my own mouse trigger finger to keep from going into massive paypal debt lately. Things I'm craving SERIOUSLY at the moment are:

Baba Studio Prague's "The Penny Farthing" Messenger Bag (Dude, seriously, have you EVER seen a cooler print?!?!?)

Michelle Christina's Dragon Vinyl Wall Decals (Seriously, if I weren't mere months away from moving house I'd already have bought these.)

Little Houses' Birch Top (How ridiculiously neo-Victorian is that?!?!)

and lastly, Madgickle's Knighton print (Which the boy and I have actually registered for)

There is some SERIOUSLY good shopping out there at the moment . . .

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Chicken SKIN?!?! And how might that be necessary?


I was at Trader Joes last night picking up ingredients for enchiladas for the boy and my dinner tonight. I typically use a sauce from Pavilions thats under $2 a jar and pretty damn good, but in the interest of not wanting to go to two stores I checked out the label on the Trader Joe's brand just to see if it'd be an OK substitute. And OMFG, the ingredients listed not only chicken stock but CHICKEN SKIN. Revolting beyond all which heretofore revolted me.

Meat products lurk in the most absurd places. Scan the label of a Twinkie and you'll find "Beef Fat". I defy anyone to fully enjoy a fluffy little snack cake whilst thinking of Beef Fat. Chicken stock finds its way into such a myriad of items its almost not worth recounting them all. Let it suffice to say though that I've pretty much had to give up on Rice-A-Roni and soups in restaurants.

The exception to the soup rule can be found, oddly, in restaurants in the UK. You would think that crunchy granola Los Angeles would far surpass, say, a miniscule town in north Wales in terms of vegetarian friendliness, but you'd be wrong. In the UK "vegetable soup" is almost never made with meat stock. In fact, one gets quite a few odd looks even inquiring about how vegetarian, exactly, that vegetable soup is. A spade is a spade there. Here, a spade is often a spade with a smattering of chicken and/or cow parts.

Any other vegetarians out there . . . whats the most bizarre place you've found hidden animal ingredients?

(cartoon lifted from www.nataliedee.com . . .hysteria abounds.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bunches of Grapes


The boy and I went away for the weekend to visit family (had a lovely time!) and ALL THROUGH the trip I was daydreaming about my order of dyed pearls from Fire Mountain gems. I had so many great ideas flitting about my head and I knew my order wasn't scheduled for delivery until Wednesday (<- IMPATIENT!) so I used my free few hours upon arriving home to go to "The Good Bead Store" which is very expensive and hard to visit since its only open on weekdays and for a few hours on Saturdays. I picked up a string of peacock dyed pearls which are probably more or less identical to the ones I ordered from Fire Mountain (also, more expensive) but I refuse to feel badly about that because LOOK! at what I made with them!!!

I had the idea to make pearl "grape bunch" earrings but I found when I had them home that the holes in the pearls were way too small to fit a headpin through. So I started fiddling around with wire and I think in the end I actually like the somewhat wire wrapped look better than I would the headpin look. It gives the earrings a definite handmade, organic feeling thats somehow almost Celtic with the wrapping and looping of the wire.


Listening:  Meho Plaza - Album Out Today!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sephora who I LOVE

Beauty products can be freakin' expensive. Not just in the sense that some brands think $110 is a perfectly fine price for a moisturizer, but in the sense that even at a meagre $10 to $20 a pop, a season's worth of eye shadows can add up to over $100 pretty darn quickly. (And by the way . . . that Lancome moisturizer is rad, so if you've got it, spend it. I wasn't merely going for an absurdly priced example just there, cause if I had been I'd have used this one. Which is also, sadly, rad.)

Beauty tools are a newly trendy category. Sephra is littered with devices like the no!no! for hair removal, the Clarisonic skincare brush and the Zeno acne clearing device are all WELL over $100 a pop. They're sort of the ipod-ification of beauty products . . .there's always something new on the market and its always going to be better than what you were using before. By a lot. Also, more expensive.

The other day, the Zeno got the better of me. I don't have full blown 10th grade style acne, but I do get the occasional blemish, as I'm sure we all do. The difference is that I'm exceedingly vain, so what would be a small blemish to any other girl is AN INSURMOUNTABLE ISSUE to me. The Zeno is $185 . . . but I decided that, given my excessive vanity, if it were to actually work it'd be well worth the price (Especially with my wedding day looming. Did I mention how much I spent on a photographer?).

So I bought it. And it didn't work. I've read all the reviews and everyone seems to rave about this thing so I really don't want to rain on anyone's parade because maybe it DOES work for some people. Just not for me. And you know what? I didn't CARE. Because I took it back to Sephora today and they gave me my money back. Not store credit, MONEY. And this is why I love them.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wedding Jewelry (but not mine!)


I'm in a friend's wedding in July and, of course, I've offered to make her bridesmaid's jewelry. The photo she found as our inspiration is above. I'm going to do Swarovski pearl drops in burgundy in sterling with these adorable bails we found on Fire Mountain gems. I'd have liked to use freshwater pearls instead of the Swarovski ones, but the freshwaters are never perfectly round . . . and since bridesmaids are meant to match I figured a high quality synthetic might make more sense. Also, the Swarovski pearls come half drilled, so I'll be able to make drops from them without having to use a head pin.

I just placed the order and already I'm DYING to get it so I can see how the neckalces come out! Simple pearl drops aren't something I've done before since I didn't think pearls were really my style. But thats mostly because I've only ever seen them done in white and pastels. If I'd known all along that they come in black cherry, dark peacock and antiqued copper I'd have been using pearls ages ago! As it stands, I've ordered all of the above colors, and then some! So expect some pearl jewelry in my Etsy shop soon :)