It Does a Body Good

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I made jewelry this weekend! It’s been a few weeks, and it felt wonderful to create something with my hands.

I also did a little sewing this weekend. I’ve been in purging mode the last few weeks (thanks to this book – more about that here and here), so I’ve been piling clothes and sorting them for consigning, giving away, and mending.

Quick Fix for a Strapless Dress

This gray dress was in the mending pile. When I found it at the thrift store, I was short on time, so I just held it up to my body and thought, “Close enough!”

When I got home, I realized it was a little too big, and too big in a strapless dress doesn’t work, so I came up with this quick fix for a strapless dress.

Side note – while I was trying it on, figuring out how to fix it, I kept thinking of this commercial from the 80s – do you remember it?

I LOVED that dress. I was sure that this would be exactly the kind of dress I would wear to the prom.

Of course, I was 9 years old when that commercial came out, so by the time I went to my first prom, my dress was a little different:

sequin dress

Alas, this is not my dress. I searched high and low for a photo from my first prom but came up short. My dress was very similar to this, except it was turquoise. The style in 1994 (at least in East Tennessee) was head-to-toe (or head-to-knee) sequins and beads. (You know I love me some sequins – see another almost prom dress here.)

It’s currently prom dress season, and thanks to the glory of Facebook, I can see what my friends’ daughters are wearing this year (both in Tennessee and California). I love seeing how styles have changed – lots of beautiful dresses, elegant fabrics, and MUCH fewer sequins.

photo (52)-001I would like to note – my senior prom dress (photo above, from my scrapbook in which I rubber cemented sequins to the page and wrote with bubble letters) didn’t have a single sequin. I was also 2 weeks post-op from an ACL replacement, and I was supposed to still be using crutches, so that it why I was not wearing heels, much to my dismay.

Okay, my project dress.

gray lace dress

I love the color and the lace, and while it’s a relatively recent dress from H&M, it’s got a vintage feel that I love, too.

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In order to keep the front of the bodice intact, I decided to add elastic to the back of the bodice to make it fit better.

Quick Fix for a Strapless Dress

My plan was to use two pieces of elastic, one on each side of the zipper, which falls is the middle of the back.

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I measured the length of one of the back pieces from the side seam to the zipper (here, 8 inches). I subtracted 3 inches (it was just a guess, and it worked well) and cut two pieces of elastic, 5 inches each.

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I pinned the elastic along the top of the bodice in the back, one end at the side seam and one end just before the zipper.

Quick Fix for a Strapless Dress

I then sewed the elastic along the top of the bodice, pulling the elastic as I went to make sure it stretched the length of the bodice. After it was sewn in place, it pulled the top of the bodice in, making it fit better. I repeated this on the other side.

Quick Fix for a Strapless Dress

Here’s the back of the dress with the elastic sewn into the top.

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It fits so much better this way. And because this dress feels like a 50s prom dress, a pink satin ribbon seemed necessary, along with pink heels and a pink necklace.

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Here’s my new necklace! I used vintage rose-shaped beads and sterling silver chain to create a pretty yet simple necklace.

pink rose bead necklace

I love how sweet and innocent it is.

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pink rose bead necklace

Sewing and making jewelry – I don’t know about “Does a Body Good”, but it sure does wonders for the soul.

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Dress: thrifted (H&M)

Necklace: my Etsy shop

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 I’m off to go look for more prom photos! So, did you go to prom? What did you wear? I’d love to hear. And thanks for reading!

Back Porch Living + A Secret for Hanging Curtains

Look what we did this weekend:Back Porch Curtains

We finally got around to hanging curtains on our back porch. I’ve been wanting to do this since the moment we moved in a year and a half ago. I’ve gone back and forth on what I wanted. When I unearthed these light, billowy curtains from their (ahem) moving box, I decided to give it a go. What’s better than free (as in, we already own them) curtains?

Back Porch Curtains

We started with Husband installing the IKEA DIGNITET curtain wire.We used 3 sets, along with 3 additional support pieces. Installation was quick and easy. Next was my turn to hang the curtains. We had 10 of these panels from Cost Plus that we used on all the windows in our old house. (Luckily, they are still available as I need to buy two more panels to make everything symmetrical.)

So here’s my curtain secret:

I remember when I used these at the old house how much it would bug me to not be able to tie each of the knots at exactly the same length, so this time, I attempted to hold a ruler while I tied the knots onto the wire. While standing on a ladder. It took a long time, and it didn’t really work, so I got creative.

Back Porch Curtains

I used a permanent laundry marker and ruler to mark 6 inches on the back tie of each pair on every curtain. (For you folks keeping track at home, that’s 7 ties times 10 panels.)

Back Porch Curtains

I could have used a washable marker used for sewing, but the mark doesn’t really show at all once it’s tied, and while I don’t know how often I’ll be washing these, I don’t want to have to remeasure every time.

Back Porch Curtains

Sneaky sneaky!

Back Porch Curtains

Since I marked the back tie only, any mark that could be seen is hidden when the ties are tied.

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I now have perfectly even ties – so good for those OCD tendencies.

Back Porch Curtains

My dreamy new porch curtains – and a peek at the next outdoor project – the dining chairs. New paint and new fabric for those are on the agenda for next weekend.

back porch curtains

Even though the daybed is still a work-in-progress, the back porch is already our new favorite place. Over the course of the weekend, it was home to a nap (me), working on the laptop (Husband), blowing bubbles (BB & BG), sipping wine (grown-ups, obviously), and reading (all). There is something about watching a breeze blow through soft curtains that brings on a deep sense of relaxation. Bring on Summer – I know where we’ll be spending it.

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday!

How’s your week been? It’s been a pretty good week here – a mix of time spent with friends and lazy mornings, puttering around the house. (Don’t you love that word, putter? Just hearing it makes me smile, and I am quite a putterer myself.) BB got a circuit set for his birthday, and he’s spent hours working on it. BG got a “Big Girl Bed”, and she’s spent hours lounging on it. It’s always funny to see what catches their interest week to week.

I guess I’m the same as well. Some weeks, I’m focused on finding new recipes and planning meals. Other weeks, it might be sewing or organizing or reading or obsessing about getting the back porch ready for summer. There are so many things that catch my attention – so many things I want to do – that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it all. But I guess that’s what makes each day fun – what can I try or learn or do today?

Here are some things that have been on my mind this week:

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1. “We edit everyday.” Ever since I read this book, I’ve been looking at our home and “stuff” differently. I’m not saying I’ve followed the author’s guidelines and principles perfectly, but it has definitely changed my perspective. I read this post on Cup of Jo about the same time I was finishing the book, and the homeowner’s quote about editing really struck me. Here’s one of Webster’s definitions:

edit (verb) – to alter, adapt, or refine especially to bring about conformity to a standard or to suit a particular purpose

Refine. There’s that word again. It makes giving away so much easier when I think about leaving the things that suit my purpose. This is really inspiring me right now.

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2. This book. Someone recommended it to me several weeks ago, and I immediately requested it from the library. I found myself bookmarking so many passages that I ordered a copy for myself. In the weeks since I started the book, there have been conversations I’ve had and posts I’ve come across that support this idea, that the way we think about things – ourselves, our jobs, our relationships – can determine our success in these areas, and that by changing our mindset, we can change the outcome. I can’t stop thinking about it.

3. Summer. I know, it just turned to spring (and in Northern California, it’s been feeling like winter again), but everyone’s talking about summer plans – road trips, day camps, local getaways. I was at a play date with a friend this week, and I asked her about summer plans, and aside from their yearly family trip, she said, “We’re just going to play. Isn’t that was summer was all about when we were little?” Isn’t that so refreshing? Reminded me of this post that I’ve thought about at least once a day since I first read it.

4. Upholstery. Because I thrifted a sofa. You know I’m going to tell you the long version.

About a month ago, I was at the thrift store, and I saw a girl pick up a pair of cowboy boots and try them on. I was a bit jealous. I have always wanted to thrift a pair (because I know I won’t wear them enough to warrant buying new ones). Also, I was recently invited to a Southern-themed birthday party, so I REALLY wanted to find a pair. The girl wore them around the store for a while, and I was sure she was going to buy them. Fast forward two weeks to spring break, and the kids and I are at the thrift store. And there, on the shelf, are the boots. And they FIT! It’s my lucky day. I drop them in my basket and move on to the furniture section, where I find this:

thrifted sofa

(This is my house, not the thrift store. I know it’s hard to tell because of the T-ball mitt, hot pink water bottle, cat tree, and 1960s linoleum.)

Now, I’ve been searching Craigslist for weeks for a settee for the foot of our bed (something like this or this or this). I’m not going to lie, my heart started racing as soon as I saw it. Price? $65! Totally my lucky day! I told the kids to stretch out on it while I grabbed the price tag and the closest worker to claim it as my own. I was so afraid someone else was going to nab it! I put it on hold and called Adopted California Dad to come help me pick it up with his truck. I texted a photo to Husband, who was out of town, mostly to get him used to the idea before he got home. (Also because I had Adopted California Dad deliver it to the living room while I decided if I was going to take it to be reupholstered immediately or live with it in pink for a bit. I decided on the latter but couldn’t actually maneuver it down the hall and had to leave it in the middle of the den, so I didn’t want Husband to trip over it in the dark when he flew in late that night. I’m a good wife like that.)

I’ve got big plans for this sofa, including new upholstery and paint. Husband seems to think I should be able to do it myself. EEK! I’d love to try – and I’m always up for learning a new skill. Tell me, do you have any experience in upholstering furniture? Is it crazy to think I could find a video on YouTube and make it happen myself?

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5. This quote.

What are you up to this weekend? We’ve got the party with the cowboy boots, T-ball, and a bunch of other little things scattered on the calendar, but I’m hoping for a little bit of puttering-around time, too. Have a good one!

 

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