Color · etsy shop · Jewelry · Sewing · Style · Thrifts

Back in the Swing of Things

I love this time of year. I thrive on routine, so having the structure of school is really great for me. BB started first grade last week, and BG started her first day of preschool today. After lots of “one more” hugs, I left her at school, ran a few errands, and then came home to a quiet house.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I was alone in my house. It was very strange. I wandered around, trying to decide what I should do.

Now, with driving to and from school across town and errands, it wasn’t like I had an enormous expanse of time – it was maybe 45 minutes – but it seemed long and open and glorious. And very, very strange. I started thinking of all the cleaning projects I could do – purge kids’ toys and clothes, dig into the deep recesses of the china cabinet, tackle the ever-elusive garage.

Instead, I sat down and read. It was fabulous.

And then, during nap time, I finished a couple of projects.

I posted a photo of this beautiful fabric on Instagram last week (@beautifulobjs):

Vintage Floral Fabric

It came from this dress:

Vintage Carol Anderson Dress

A fantastic vintage Carol Anderson  dress, complete with shoulder pads and an enormously wide collar (which will come into play later.)

Vintage Carol Anderson Dress

I believe this is the same Carol Anderson that is now the CAbi clothing line.

When I saw this dress at the thrift store, I immediately had a plan. The bright colors and floral pattern were begging to be a more modern full skirt. I planned to add an elastic waistband and then cut off some of the hem to make a belt, but once I tried on the skirt in its full length, I changed my mind and wanted to keep it a maxi, so I needed to create a belt from something else.

Vintage Floral Fabric

Enter the enormous collar! I cut it off and cut it in half. I stitched the edges to prevent fraying.

Vintage Floral Fabric

My plan was to simply overlap the collar pieces and sew them together to make the belt. The problem was, even though the collar was enormously wide, it wasn’t long enough for a belt.

Vintage Floral Fabric

And here’s where I kind of geeked out: I realized if I flipped on of the collars around, the overlap was shorter and provided the couple more inches of length I needed.

Vintage Floral Fabric

Brilliant (if I do say so myself)!

Vintage Floral Fabric

Small victories! I sewed one piece on top of the other, and that was it.

Maxi Skirt from Vintage Dress

Here’s the Franken-belt (see another “Franken” project here).

Maxi Skirt from Vintage Dress

I was able to keep the original pockets from the dress in tact! Win!

before and after

Maxi Skirt from Vintage Dress

I love how it turned, but I’m still undecided if it will stay this length or if it would be better as a full knee-length skirt.

Beautiful Objects Necklace

And here’s another new project – a necklace in my shop. Apparently I’m on a pink kick.

When I posted the photo of the fabric on IG, my dear friend Cathy responded that it was so pretty, and I was reminded of that phase I went through in high school where I “hated” pink, probably because it wasn’t cool to like pink or something silly like that. I also happened to have a bedroom that was top-to-bottom mauve floral (think Laura Ashley) that I LOVED in 3rd grade and which stayed that way until I left for college. And maybe is still pink floral to this day. (My brother’s room was done in Wedgwood blue around the same time. Mauve and Wedgwood – could we have been more 80s?)

So, at risk of sharing one of those “you had to be there” stories….

When I was in high school, the first time I tore my ACL, I had a date that night with a boy. So, he comes to my house and brings me flowers – pink in a pink vase tied with a pink ribbon – SO MUCH PINK. Cathy also comes over to check on me and bring me flowers. (Also, prom boy came that night with chocolate chip cookies and flowers to check on me and try to soothe things over after I told him I wouldn’t go to prom with him. This part of the story sounds full of drama, and I am the opposite of drama, so the whole thing was just so bizarre.)

So Cathy unknowingly makes a comment about how much I HATE pink and how she would NEVER bring me pink flowers.

My mother, always the gracious Southerner, trying not to embarrass the boy, says, “Oh no! JUST mauve, and ONLY in her room!”

Cathy and I LOST IT! For years to come, out of nowhere, the phrase, “Just mauve, and only in her room” would be uttered, and we would fall to pieces. Even now, I cannot hear the word “mauve” without chuckling.

I have come to embrace pink again – especially pink flowers – which is fortunate, as I have a daughter who thinks it is truly the only good color in the world.

original vintage necklace

Speaking of pink and Franken-projects, here’s the original necklace as I found it. Not bad.

pink + gold reversible pendant necklace

But I knew I wanted to make something simpler out of that pendant.



pink + gold reversible pendant necklace

It’s even reversible to the gold-tone only side.

And here’s what I did with some of the beads from the necklace. It’s like a “Franken-project”, only this time, instead of putting together different pieces, I took a mix of elements from one necklace and made new, different pieces from what I found.


Blouse: thrifted (Old Navy)

Skirt: thrifted and remade by me

Necklaces: my Etsy shop


OK, what do you think about the skirt? Keep it long? Hem it short? Will I ever wear it long? Will I regret cutting that beautiful fabric? I am still undecided.

Color · five things · Organizing

Five Things

Hello! Happy Friday!

I’m back. It’s been a strange season – wrapping up our first school year experience, finding our summer rhythm, tying up lots of loose ends. I don’t think I have used my sewing machine in over a month, and I haven’t made jewelry either. But this week, I made time for a little of both, and it brought me so much joy.

What have we been up to? It’s hard to really say why we have been so busy. We’ve been immersed in house stuff – finishing up the outdoor projects (reveal coming soon!), painting walls and doors, rearranging furniture, and cleaning out.

Remember I was reading this book? (I talked more about it here.) I thought I would need to reread it monthly, but it seems that it took a few months to fully sink in. I am now completely entrenched in decluttering our house. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no pack rat, but something in the last few weeks really clicked, and I’ve committed to getting rid of ALL the excess. I have never been more enthusiastic about cleaning in my life.

Here are some other things that have been on my mind lately:

citrus fruit

1. Instagram. I finally jumped on the bandwagon. Just like blogging, I followed other people for a while before posting myself. And I’m loving it! (I’m @beautifulobjs if you want to follow along.) I think it is making me a little more mindful and attentive to what’s going on around me during the moment. (And my obsession with rainbow color order lives on!)

2. This made me surprisingly emotional. I have thought of it often over the last few weeks. Beautiful.

the forest feast book

3. The Forest Feast. I have seen reviews of this book on various blogs, so when I stumbled on it at my library, I added it to my overflowing bag. (Do you do this, too? I probably check out 10 books at a time. I know I will never read all of them, but in the moment, I just can’t choose. It still makes me giddy that I get to take them home with me. FOR FREE!) After reading only a handful of pages of this book, I knew I needed a copy for my own bookshelf. I want to live in its pages. Erin Gleeson’s photography and hand lettering are beautiful, and every recipe looks simple and wonderful. (Her blog, The Forest Feast, is lovely as well.) Reading it made me long for fall (even though we’ve just dived into summer) and to throw a party. It’s definitely time to throw a party.

4. This was fun. I saw this months ago, and put in Nicole (the name I have always gone by but which is actually my middle name – I’m from the South, we do that a lot), and the description that came up was not super accurate. It came across my path again, and this time I tried my actual first name. WHOA! Ridiculously accurate. Have you tried this? If you do, I’m curious about your results. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

5. Speaking of parties, this made me laugh. (I’m an ENFP. You?)

What are you up to this weekend? It’s going to be hot, so there will be trips to the pool, afternoon movies and popcorn, and house painting. Always more painting. I’m also in the middle of three books right now, so I’m hoping to finish one of them. So I can take it back to the library and get some more books, of course. Hope you have a great one!

31 Days · Color · creative habit · Jewelry

31 Days: Color – Day 31: The Rainbow Connection

Finally! Made it through all 31 projects. (Well, except that crazy green one, but I’m not going to count that one since I’ve already attempted it twice. When it’s warm enough to actually wear that dress, I’ll revisit it.)


Today’s project reminded me of my 31 Days projects last year, about just showing up and doing the work. (Speaking of, I received the book Do the Work by Steven Pressfield for Christmas, along with this book – I’m so excited to dig into both of them after I finish my current one.) I didn’t really have a plan – aside from wanting to make a colorful piece of jewelry – so I just pulled out random beads from my stash and got to work. Some of the beads are “new” finds, some are leftovers from old projects, and some I’ve had for years.


The red bead is a leftover from this necklace. The orange polka dot used to be part of a pair of earrings.


The solid orange is the single remaining bead from this set. The yellows are from here and here.


The turquoise bead is from a piece of costume jewelry that belonged to my great-grandmother. The dark blue is from here.


I put them together to make a piece full of memories.


I love this idea of a “collaged” necklace – not just reusing matched old pieces to make new things, but combining disparate pieces in new ways. As I think about what I want to explore in the new year, I keep coming back to this idea. I am excited to see what 2015 brings for all of us.

Thank you so much for following along with me these 31 (plus a WHOLE lot more) Days. It’s been a lot of fun, it’s gotten me to stop to notice color, and it’s inspired me to break out of my routines to try something new. Hope my little color experiment has inspired you in some way, too!

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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