etsy shop · Jewelry · Style

Caftans + Bold Earrings

It was a cloudy, rainy weekend here in Northern California. I am NOT complaining – we NEED rain, I LOVE rain, I look forward to dark, gray days to light candles and dig out blankets and feel cozy and wintery. Plus, it’s been pretty cold, so it FEELS like winter, finally.


I’m also starting to think a little bit about spring. The Boy started baseball last week, and The Girl is running barefoot everywhere as if it already were sunny and warm. We’re starting to sign up for summer camps. The REALLY warm weather will be here before we know it. I think it’s the perfect time to consider….

…a caftan!



This is the first one I found YEARS ago. I didn’t even know what it was (a robe? a nightgown? something from another country?) But the embroidery was so lovely – I’m a sucker for good needlework – that I had to have it.

Turns out, they are perfect for warmer weather because the long, loose fabric billows away from the body and keeps you cool.

(For a brief history of the caftan, check out this article.)



I fell for this one because of its cross-stitch design, a skill I used to be pretty good at back in elementary school. The gradient of color played out in tiny stitched X’s is just so great.




This one’s perfect for spring – bright coral with white embroidery.



This one is my favorite – a soft chambray with thick white cotton embroidery thread. I think this is the one I’m going to keep. The rest will be going in my Etsy shop this week. (And I’m always on the lookout for more, so I’ll add more as I find them.)


And aren’t they fun with big, bold earrings?


I’ve been playing around with a couple of different earring designs lately – a 3-tier drop and a big almond shape. Both designs feature upcycled vintage beads I’ve found at antique shops and thrift stores. Because most of the beads are vintage acrylic, they are fairly lightweight and easy to wear.



You can check out these and more earring designs over in my Etsy shop. (Click on photos above for more details.)

So, would you wear a caftan? If I invited you to Caftan Party? (It’s a thing – see here and here.)


etsy shop · Style

The Perfect Shirt for Summer

It’s was 96 degrees here yesterday. That’s really, really hot, y’all. It’s making me a little nervous because it’s just May, and we have “a whole ‘nother” month of spring to go before summer officially arrives. Lawd help! (Apparently these hot days bring back my Southern vocabulary.)

I’m digging through my closet to find the lightest possible things to wear on these crazy hot days. (Like this and this.)

But you know what always works on these hot days when I want to look a little more polished and a little less like I just came back from the pool?

Vintage short sleeved blouses.

They used to be called “shells” – slip-on, collar-less blouses that were typically worn as a base layer under suit jackets or cardigans. They were super popular in the 80s, and they are making a comeback. And for good reason. They are the perfect shirt for summer. Lightweight, cool, and breathable boxy-cut blouses, they look better than a t-shirt and are even easier to wear.

May I present the Vintage Short Sleeved Blouse, Three Ways:

vintage blouse + shorts

1. With shorts. This is basically a t-shirt and shorts situation, but it looks more polished and feels even better. (Pay no attention to what I’m calling my “mom tan” – that unfortunate tan line that comes from wearing cropped yoga pants on a surprisingly sunny day. NO SHAME, friends – it’s too hot to try to cover that mess up with long pants these days.)

vintage blouse + midi skirt

2. Cuffed sleeves with a skirt. This minimalist look of a flowy midi (or maxi) skirt and boxy shirt is perfect for warm days. (And there’s something about flowy skirts that always makes me feel like I’m on vacation.)

vintage blouse + jeans + heels

3. Dressed up with jeans + heels + a bold necklace. This is my summer going-out uniform.

When I’m thrift shopping, I’m always on the hunt for blouses like this – simple tops that can be mixed and matched a hundred different ways. Silk for a luxurious feel (and so breathable), polyester for ease of wear (no ironing!).

black and white print blouse

I just listed a collection of these summer blouses in my Etsy shop in a variety of colors and sizes – click here to see what I’ve found!

Meanwhile, I’m going to sit in front of a fan and sip some iced tea like a good Southern girl and pray this summer is a mild one.

creative habit · etsy shop · Jewelry

Doing the Work

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Not a sad funk or a discouraged funk or it’s-rained-for-three-weeks-and-I-just-need-some-sunshine funk. I’ve been in a busy funk. Which might be a weird thing to say, because when you’re busy, you’re usually moving and active and getting things done and in sort of the opposite of a funk.

I haven’t felt inspired. Inspired to make things or start projects or even write in my journal. I haven’t felt like I had anything to tell. And I haven’t really had space to tell it if I did. It’s been days and days of drop offs and pick ups and baseball and karate and Target and grocery shopping and taking this here and picking that up there. Most days are go-go-go until I crash at the end of the day.

But then I read a couple of things that made a difference.

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst came on the hold shelf for me at the library. The subtitle is “Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands” – sound familiar? I am not even halfway through it, but I’m loving this book and making so many notes in my journal from what I’m reading. Here’s one:

“The decisions we make dictate the schedules we keep. The schedules we keep determine the lives we live. The lives we live determine how we spend our souls.”

If I just keep going with the errands and the to-dos and the trying to get ahead, I will never find time to do what I love and what my soul needs – making things, writing, and connecting with my people.

Then, as I was reading Shauna Niequist’s Savor devotional on April 25:

“Get up. Create like you’re training for a marathon, methodically, day by day.”

And this:

“Discipline is not antithetical to creativity; it’s vital to it.”

Discipline! Not waiting around for inspiration. Not getting my other tasks done in order to find time to create. Make time to create and DO IT.

So that Tuesday morning, the day of the week where I have the biggest chunk of time to get things done, instead of tackling my to-do list and running here and there trying to squeeze in more productivity, I blocked off my calendar for “create”. I started Pandora, sat down at my workspace, and made stuff for two hours.

rainbow earrings

It was awesome. I made some pretty things, I got lots of new ideas, and I felt the funk begin to slide away. Instead of waiting to be inspired to get to work, I got to work and was inspired.

The thing is, this isn’t a new revelation for me. I KNOW this, really. (I did a whole 31 Days Series on it a few years ago.) But when life gets busy (or even just funk-y), I can’t figure out why I’m not doing the things I want to do. I lose focus. I get sidetracked. I forget.

So I made a tiny little life hack: I added “Create” to the calendar on my phone and I set it to repeat. So I will have a reminder that pops up to spend some DISCIPLINED time doing the work I want to do. And I will schedule the other life stuff at other times. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, or even if I have to move it to a different time slot, it’s the beginning of a practice that will help me remember to do things that feed my soul.

And my hope is that by feeding my soul, I will be keeping the funk away, too.

new earring photos

PS – I’ve added the earrings I made last Tuesday to my shop. Click here to see them in all their rainbow-color-ordered glory!