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Shoe makeovers

I have been working on a project in which I am photographing all my clothes.  It’s already a very helpful exercise because being able to see all my clothes at once has helped me identify items I am not wearing.  When photographing my shoes I found a few pairs that I thought I would wear more if I did a bit of a makeover on them.

I bought these for a costume party several years ago.

These came from a thrift store and are from Ann Taylor.

I did some painting on both.  You can find tutorials for this all over the web but the basic steps are to mask the areas you don’t want to paint with painter’s tape and do several coats.  I used craft acrylic paints and a sponge brush so I wouldn’t have any bristle lines.  I did a couple of coats the first day, let them dry overnight, and then another coat the next day.  Then I gave everything a couple of coats of ModPodge.  I didn’t want to go out and buy any new craft supplies for this project so I just used what I had on hand.  This is what I ended up with:

The only problem I had was that on the shoes that were vinyl not leather I had issues with the painter’s tape peeling off some of the finish on the areas I was trying to keep paint-free.  So peel the tape off carefully and have a back up plan in mind.


Baby project

My paternal grandmother, Mutsey, was quite a crafty lady.  Like me, she was often working on a project while watching TV in the evenings.  She made the sweetest embroidered pictures for myself and my brother and sister.  Each one is different but this one is mine.

I decided to make something similar for my son.  As anyone with a child knows, naps don’t last forever so I wanted to do something a bit faster and I used a combination of embroidery and felt.

I started with the name and backed the first name in a felt outline cutout before I stitched on the name.

I added the owls because I like them and also because owls have been a big design trend for kid’s things for the last year or so.  I like it when design elements date themselves.  It’s fun to look at pictures of yourself and say, “Oh, babydoll dresses and Doc Marten’s.  Remember the early 90’s?”

The tree was a last minute addition.  I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to put in the empty space after I did the rest of the picture and it sat around staring at me for a couple of days and then the tree just came to me.  Ta-da!  Baby picture!

Mama’s Little Time Bandit

So I have been a mom for 9 weeks now and surprisingly, it is not all sitting on the couch eating bon-bons.  Although there is some stress chocolate involved in raising a child.  I have been working on some ideas for blog posts and we’ll see if my little darling allows me to complete them but in the meantime here is the reason I have not been keeping up with my blog.

Look at all the chins!




The opposite of a problem is sometimes still a problem

Fair Isle Crew Neck Sweater, Urban Outfitters

This time of year women around the world often throw up their hands and say they don’t know what to get the man in their life for Christmas.  My husband is the opposite of that.  He is interested in so many things that I can’t decide what is the best thing to get him.  Especially on a year like this, when we have set a budget of $100 for our holiday spending on each other.  I’ve done pretty well so far and I’ve gotten some things I know will be a hit but I still have a bit of money left in the budget and I can’t decide what to buy.  Therefore, a fantasy shopping trip with Jason in mind!  Here’s a gift guide for a smart, stylish guy.

Cheese Knife Set

He loves to try different cheeses and this cute set has a knife for every type. http://www.kikkerland.com/products/cheese-knife-set/

Graffiti Cocktail shaker, for his evening drink


Robot tea infuser

Lately he’s been drinking tea instead of coffee.  http://www.kikkerland.com/products/robot-tea-infuser/

Cardboard Buck Trophy

I just think this is so cool.


Zara Limited Edition ankle bootZara Limited Edition Ankle Boot.  I like all the detail and the color here.  Jason is very fond of boots, too! http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/us/en/zara-us-W2011/130507/474149/%27LIMITED%2BEDITION%27%2BZARA%2BANKLE%2BBOOT

Cashmere Blend Socks

I bought Jason some cashmere blend socks last Christmas and he loves them.  These are more colorful and fun. http://www.absolutesocks.com/be-5740olive.html

These are some fun Argyle Socks!

Jason wears argyle socks a lot and these are very fun. http://www.absolutesocks.com/kb-12116m-bluered.html



My mom’s cute idea.

My birthday is Nov 11, which means that this year it fell on 11/11/11.  A week ago I got a card from my mom saying I should keep an eye on the mail for three 11’s that were coming for my birthday.  I started getting birthday cards from my family, the first one came from my brother and sister in law and included a recipe.  Since my sister in law loves to cook I thought it was a sweet thought but then I started getting cards from the rest of my family and they ALL had recipes so I realized that was one of the three 11’s I should be looking for.  My mother also mailed me 11 baby boy buttons and today I got a card from Heifer International with information that mom donated enough to buy 11 small animals for the project.

Baby boy buttons


Tonight I made the first of the birthday recipes with my new slow cooker.  This one came from my Aunt Carol.

New slow cooker

Slow Cooked coffee pot roast

1 beef roast (I used chuck)

2 tsp. canola oil

1.5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1/3 cup sliced green onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/5 cups brewed coffee

1 tsp liquid smoke

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/3 cup cold water.

In a large non stick skillet, brown roast on all sides in oil over med-high heat.  Place in a 5 qt slow cooker.  In the same skillet, saute mushrooms, onions and garlic until tender.  Stir in coffee, liquid smoke, salt, chili powder and pepper.  Pour over roast.  Cover, cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove roast and keep warm.  Pour cooking juices into a 2 cup measuring cup, skim fat.  In a saucepan combine cornstarch and water until smooth.  Gradually stir in 2 cups cooking juices.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 min or until thickened.  Serve with beef.

My aunt says she never bothers with the gravy.  I didn’t either.  In fact, here are my alternate directions for the way I really cooked the roast:

I didn’t have green onions so I used a red onion since it is mild.  I also didn’t have mushrooms so I just didn’t bother with them this time.  Also, turns out I was out of chili powder so I used hot sauce.  I didn’t brown anything in the pan, I just tossed the roast into the slow cooker, minced the onions and garlic and tossed those on top, then poured the coffee, liquid smoke, hot sauce, salt and pepper on top, set the slow cooker for 8 hours on low, and ran to work.  When I came home the house smelled great and all I had to do was make some garlic mashed potatoes.  Next time I’m doing the mushrooms and gravy with this.  So delicious!   Thanks Aunt Carol!

Yummy! Just waiting for mashed potatoes

I’m going to make the rest of the recipes and post them because my family is so cool and I really appreciate that they all got in on this sweet little project for my birthday.  Also big love to my gal, Libby, who may not exactly be family but she is pretty close and she also kicked in a card and recipe for this little project.  You are the best.

Missoni for Target lookbook

Missoni serving platters

I’ve always been kind of “meh” about Missoni clothing.  It’s always more zigzags and after a while I feel like it all blurs together.  This fall Missoni is releasing a massive collection for Target and I flipped through the lookbook.  You can check it out on Facebook:


The selection is massive with clothing, housewares, accessories and some unusual items like a bicycle and a patio set.  I’m pretty sold on the housewares.  I definately want the serving platters.  I’m also drawn to the luggage, the scarves and those awesome rainboots.  There is something in this collection for everyone, whether you want to wear Missoni or display it.  I don’t know when a designer has done such a huge collection for Target, it will be interesting to see how it sells.

Missoni rainboots

Heart of Gold

Coming up soon look for some posts relating to some work I am doing with a local band in the L.A. area called Heart of Gold.  I know Tiffany, their keyboard player and one of their vocalists, through work we did together at Glendale Center Theater and we became friends, attended each other’s weddings and so forth.  They were looking for someone to help them pull together a cohesive stage look and last week we met and chatted about their goals and decided to work together.

I’m looking forward to doing some styling and stitching for these talented performers!  Please check out their Facebook page.