Dirty Shiny Pretty

Musings on Dirty Shiny Pretty Life

Apr 24, 2010

What did I do to you, Zac Posen?

I've been so excited about the Zac Posen line debuting at Target. I love Target and I love the designer collaborations they've been doing for the last few years so it's a win win situation. I've been waiting for months for this new line especially since the last few collections have been ho-hum. I rushed to Target today, my Target always debuts lines a day before, and excitedly grabbed about 15 pieces to try on. I practically raced to the dressing room giddy about my good fortune of finding so many things. Well, that's where my good fortune ended. So I admit I'm busty, 36DD, and usually have to go up a size or two for these designer lines, but the fit on these clothes was ridiculous. Of the 9 dress styles I tried on only two fit and that's after trying on different sizes of all the dresses! Some of them were so small that I got the largest size and without even zipping it up could feel the arm hole digging into my armpit. The bottoms I tried on were just as bad. I would normally question whether I've been gaining weight but I have made some recent purchases in my regular sizes that fit just fine. This leads me to wonder what the heck happened. I mean why are these pieces running so small? I did leave with one dress but I'm still not even sure I'll keep it and the funny thing is that of the two sizes I tried on I had to go with the smaller one because the other was gapping on the sides of my chest. Anyway, there's no point to this rant other than to say I'm really bummed at how the fit of this line turned out. There are still some really cute pieces in it but if you are a chesty girl I wouldn't bother.

Apr 15, 2010

The Top 5 Reasons I love Orange County

5. Family Friendly
Yes, I know, I should just go throw on some mom jeans and hop in a mini van, but I can't help it. I like that we live within walking distance of several parks, playgrounds, and schools and that families really enjoy spending time outside so there are always kids for my daughter.

4. Diversity
I might live in the suburbs but it's not white bread Main Street USA. My neighbors come from all walks of life from all over the world, even B's Pre-K looks like a mini United Nations. I love that she is getting to learn about so many different cultures through her friends and is experiencing first hand the uniqueness of humankind at such an early age. It doesn't hurt that I can find a great tamale, tikka masala, or tuna roll within in a 10 minute drive either.

3. Climate
I don't just love the weather of So Cal I love the climate. I've lived on the East Coast and in Europe and no matter how much I loved the cities I could never deny I was a Cali girl at heart. How could I shun the mild, but diverse, weather and dry heat in favor of face freezing wind and clothes soaking humidity? It's impossible.

2. Natural Beauty
I don't particularly find OC architecturally beautiful. There are definitely some amazing buildings hidden amongst the jumble of sub-divisions and boring tract housing but they are few and far between. This doesn't matter though because the natural beauty of the area constantly blows me away. Spring is my favorite season here because thousands of wild flowers are in bloom and the hills and canyons are covered in hundreds of shades of green, purple, pink, yellow, and orange. Wouldn't it be great if I actually included an image of this instead of just talked about it? I've made the mental note to take pics of the flowers before they die, oh, about 100 times but because I'm camera repellent I never remember to actually take my camera out of my house to accomplish this. Really someone call me as I'm walking out the door so I can finally do this!

1. Location, Location, Location
You really can't beat the prime location of the OC. An hour to LA, an hour to SD, an hour to the mountains, 40 minutes to the desert, and 20 minutes to the beach. I live in the suburbs but they edge canyons and meadows. I can be in the middle of it all or as far removed as possible in the blink of an eye. I really am very blessed to live in such a great area.

Apr 5, 2010

Easy Chain Tutorial

So I'm finally able to post a jewelry tutorial since I actually managed to take a few pics while I was working on a project. They aren't very pretty but they get the job done.

Simple Beaded Gold Chain
1. Materials needed:
-needle nose pliers
-wire cutters
-square edged pliers(d0n't remember real name but they are very common)
-beads (these are small pink glass beads)
-chain (I bought 4' and ended up using about 3 1/2' which made a chain down to my waist)
-several head pins or connector pins (I like head pins so I can make the connector rings whatever size I wish)
-lobster clasp (I like to add clasps to my chains to make them more versatile)
-2 jump rings 1 small and 1 large
*I like to buy my supplies online for price and variety and at a local bead store that offers unique beads and chains. I also use old discarded jewelry to create new pieces.

2. Decide how far about you want to space your beads. I chose to add a bead in place of every 5th oval ring on my chain because I was keeping it so simple I wanted to make sure I had lots of color. Starting at one end of the chain count your spacer amount. Either simply cut the chain in two or use your pliers to undo the ring. Some chain is made of sealed rings so you will have to cut it.

3. Grab a bead and slide it on the head pin. Now take you needle nose pliers and grip the very tip of the unfinished end of the pin

4. Next twist your wrist counterclockwise to make a small hook at the end of the pin. Slide one piece of the chain onto the hook. Keeping the chain in the hook take your needle nose pliers and close the hook up to make a circle so the chain can't slide off.

5. Cut the head pin down to size. I just eye this. Then repeat step 4 with the other piece of chain. Make sure the loops on both sides are bent in the same direction, if not just take both pairs of pliers, one on each loop, and twist the ends until they are lined upWhen I'm working with small beads I try to make the connector rings as small as possible so the don't distract from the actual beads. Also, it can allow you to use one pin to wire several beads.

6. Continue working around the chain until you reach a length you like. Cut off or remove the extra links. Grab the large jump ring and open it slightly with your pliers. I find it easiest to use both set of pliers to do this. slide the end of the chain onto the ring. Close ring with pliers. I use my flat pliers to squeeze the ring shut while the need nose are angled through the ring to help keep it's round shape. Repeat this with the small jump ring and the start of the chain *Make sure you slide the lobster clasp onto the small jump ring as well.

7. Ta Da! I kept this chain simple and sweet as it was a special request I made for a customer whose tastes in jewelry are simple and girlie. With this techinque though there are countless variations on what you can make all it takes is a little imagination. At the bottom I've posted some pics of other pieces I've made using the same steps. You can vary chain length,#,material and/or bead size,color,spacing,# per spacer.

Sorry for bad photo quality, I was rushing and didn't edit these top ones.

made with vintage nail heads
made with beads from an old necklace and chain scraps from other projects
found these beads and copper chain at craft stores

All of these chains have sold but please visit my etsy shop for more pieces!

While it my take a while to do depending on length and # of beads it is easy and can be done in front of the TV if you want. Have fun creating your own piece!


Apr 2, 2010

The Sartorialist

Currently, The Sartorialist blog is running contests for the chance to win a Celine inspiration book. While I, myself, would never end up on a fashion blog like that, I'm just too suburban, I enjoy looking at the photos posted on the site. So when I read that they were doing a vintage photo contest for one of the Celine books I immediately knew what photo I was going to pick. About 5 years ago I was visiting my Grandpa and we were looking through his old photos. I came across one of a young woman on a motorcycle and immediately fell in love with it. My Grandpa couldn't remember much about her other than she had been a girlfriend of his brother's. Since it wasn't a photo my Grandpa connected to I took it to show my hairstylist for inspiration for a new cut.
Since then I've kept this photo in my desk and have gotten a kick out of stumbling across it and wondering about who this girl was. Anyway, back to the point. I submitted this photo and about a week later it actually showed up on the site! There were over 400 photos submitted and only about 20 posted on the site. I'm not going to lie. I immediately posted this info on FB and then proceeded to soak up the self imagined glory I felt for being so cool. Obviously, I'm still feeling pretty awesome about this so I had to post it on my blog in case anyone drops by and wants to know. You can still find the pic on The Sartorialist under the heading "Cool Girls on Motorcycles" just in case you want to check it out in all it's glory. Oh, and for the record, this doesn't mean I won. Nope it just means my photo was interesting enough to be shared. I hope that doesn't mean I lose cool points, I had so few to start with.

NB: Just because you have a cool photo in your possession it doesn't make you cool by association.