Dirty Shiny Pretty

Musings on Dirty Shiny Pretty Life

Aug 29, 2011

Last Days of Summer

Already thinking it's Fall. I was in a tank top and felt fine.
     Lately, it feels like everyone's done with Summer and onto Fall already, like Summer is so passe. Fortunately, Summer didn't get the memo. While the East Coast dealt with Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene we were dealing with a heat wave and high levels of humidity. Luckily, we were able to escape to Huntington Beach, aka Surf City USA, for the weekend where temps were at least 20 degrees cooler.
     B has a slight unknown fear of the ocean (not a healthy respect) and fights me everytime I suggest going down to the beach. This always bums me out because I love the beach and spent most of my childhood summers in the water or on the sand with friends and family, and I want her to have the same great experiences I did. This time she had no choice and I dragged her to the boardwalk, where surprise surprise she decided she wanted to take off her shoes and play in the sand. The next few hours we spent looking for shells, building sand piles, and running in and out of the water. It was so much fun and a huge success in getting her to like the beach and build up her courage. I hope to have many more of these days, and luckily with our climate it's possible to enjoy the beach throughout the year. Who knows maybe in a few more years I'll even be able to get her out on a long board.

Aug 26, 2011

Radio Rockstar a DIY Repurposed Bag

While cleaning out his storage unit my boyfriend found an old radio in its case and thought that I would have fun repurposing the leather box (he knows me so well). Obviously, the case was already a great little purse it just needed to be cleaned up and updated. Using some scrap lace and brassy pyramid stud stickers I had lying around I was able to take this bag from relic to rockstar, all for the grand total of $0. Here's how.

Nice shape and color, just really boring.
Fabric scissors
Liquid Stitch glue (one of my favorite finds in the last year)
Fabric pen
Scrap fabric about 1 1/2 x 4" (should be durable/double layered)
Embellishments (I found these at Michael's in the $1 bin awhile ago. I just remove the foam backing to use)

1. This bag opens like a lunch box with the flap ending in a 90 degree angle. Since I wanted to use it as a purse and not have everything spill out when opened I decided to add fabric sides that would limit how far the flap opened. With this type of leather I wasn't able to sew on the fabric so I used Liquid Stitch to add the fabric. I opened the bag to the angle I wanted it to rest at making sure I could easily access anything inside, placed the fabric inside, marked the angle the fabric needed to be cut at for the flap, and cut it.

Not very cute inside. Another reason to add the fabric strips.
2. Glue fabric in place place. I gave it about a 1/4" lip on the bottom of the bag and glued the fabric to the whole side of the main part of the bag, but only used glue on a small strip on the flap. The flap has a lip that overlaps the body of the bag when closed and if I glued fabric to the whole lip it would have made the bag awkward to close.

Secured by a cute little piece of fabric
3. While that dried I removed the sticker backings from my studs and laid out the design I wanted. It ended up that a random scattering of studs looked the best. I think it contrasts well with the classic conservative shape and look of the bag.

4. Glue down studs. I used Liquid Stitch again because I was out of Super Glue, but I'm not sure how well the studs will hold up with it. I like that LS doesn't mark up leather but I might have to use a stronger multi-purpose adhesive because of the studs.

Done! Now I have a fun little bag that holds all my necessities and will transition well through the seasons.

Have you ever repurposed a bag? I would love to see your results?


Aug 25, 2011

School, school, don't be late...

Summer has flown by and B has started school again. She's in the first grade, an official elementary school student, and she couldn't be more excited. As she's my only child the whole school thing has been a learning experience for me as well. I went to private school my whole life and I'm new to the public school system and how it works. Having recently watched and cried my way through Waiting for Superman I'm very worried about her academic future, but extremely thankful for the quality of our local school. I love that we can walk to school and friends are in the neighborhood. I'm lucky that our school is highly rated and the faculty and staff are greatly involved in the success of the children. I'm upset by all the furlough days and every Wednesday being a half day. Lastly, I'm confused by these combo classes. B's in a 1st/2nd combo class which I've been told means she's one of the top performers in her class, but I'm still not sold on the idea. If it's the top 1st graders and bottom 2nd graders will the teacher really be able to keep the class engaged and everyone on track for the next year? I would love to know if anyone else has had experience with this.

Summer 2011 Memories
Walks on the beach
Visits with Auntie
1st dance with a boy
Eating original balboa bars on the boardwalk
Frozen yogurt on hot days

Beautiful beach days
Friends' weddings
Ballet Recital
Exploring tide pools
Kickin it poolside
Mini vacation to Coronado

Aug 14, 2011

Glitter Glasses DIY

Some girls are just born with glitter in their veins
-Paris Hilton

I can't believe I just quoted PH. Its so true though. I'm a pretty simple girl who prefers dressing solid neutrals and an animal print here or there, but for some reason I'm always drawn to anything that shines and glitters. It's definitely in my veins. Anyway here's another simple cheap/free DIY project for those who like to shine. I got the idea after seeing Miu Miu's new Fall '11 glitter sunglasses. A few days later I was in Target and saw sunnies in the $1 bin so I knew it was just something I had to try. Miu Miu's pair puts mine to shame but they're so wild they make me smile. I can't wait to wear them around my daughter. She'll either want her own pair or be totally embarrassed.

Glitter Glasses

-1 pair plastic sunglasses
-1 tube glitter (I used large glitter because that's what I had but I think fine glitter would help bring the look down a notch)
-modge podge
-sponge brush
-a wide type of tape like duct or masking

1. Cut 4 pieces of tape to fit each side of each lens. Cover the lens with tape.

2. On a well covered surface wipe modge podge onto one arm of sunglasses.

3. Over a paper plate sprinkle glitter over whole arm. Make sure it gets covered. Let dry.

4. Repeat process for other arm and frame. I left the bridge uncovered because I didn't want the glitter bugging my nose.

5. Touch up areas where the glitter didn't stick. Let dry.

7. Cover all glittered areas in a layer of modge podge. This will seal in the glitter which is crucial if you don't want to glitter to fall into your eye and scratch a cornea or something. Not fun.


Aug 13, 2011

Plain Jane to Fancy Feet Prada inspired DIY


Black boring shoe


Some craft paint and a flat paintbrush
Fun shoe DIY
I grabbed these black mary janes from F21 last year after seeing them on another blogger and thinking they looked super cute. Well, they have basically sat in my closet since then. I think I've worn them twice because they usually look slightly off with my outfits. Anyway, I've been on a huge craft kick lately and having contemplated jazzing these shoes up for a long time I decided it was now or never.  Their separate platform and chunky heel were ideal for a bright color blocking paint job. I chose to use craft paint colors I already had that played off the brights/neon trends and that I knew would work together having seen my mom rock this color combo through most of the 90s. After finishing the shoes I realized I must have subconsciously been inspired by the pretty Prada dress that has graced the likes of actress Hailee Steinfeld and the amazing blogger, Wendy B.

-2 colors craft paint
-clear shiny top coat craft paint
-nice paintbrush (badly made brushes leave bristles everywhere which will ruin your paint job)
-painter's tape
-razor blade or exacto knife

1. Tape of areas to be painted.

2. Paint base coats. The heel base coat will actually be the color of the smaller top stripe. This will take some time and patience. You will have to paint multiple layers, and trust me when I say the quickest way to do this is to wait for each layer to dry before you paint another one. I always try to just glob on paint and it never works.

3. Once the heel and platform are covered and dry measure off how big you want your heel stripe to be, mark it off, then tape it off placing the tape over the stripe color.

4. Paint the heel.

5. Use razor blade to help remove tape and keep clean lines. Scrape any excess paint off.

6. Paint the heel and platform with a coat of the shiny top coat.


Aug 9, 2011

Claire Vivier Inspired DIY Envelope Clutch

Claire Vivier's la pochette

After spotting this Claire Vivier la pochette I was inspired to make this extremely simple envelope clutch for my sister for her birthday. It took only an afternoon to complete and I'm happy with the results, and I think she will be too.

-Pleather, or real leather. I scored my pleather for $3. It was a yard remnant at a local upholstery fabric store.
-Strong thread in matching, or contrasting color
-Exacto knife
-paper envelope (I used a legal sized one since it was closer to the size of my clutch)
-fabric marker
-button, or other closure

1. Measure and mark out a rectangle, size is up to you. Remember you will basically be creating a tri-fold so make sure your rectangle is long enough. Cut out the rectangle.
-What makes upholstery pleather easy to work with is that it is sturdy an already lined meaning you don't have to worry about measuring, cutting, and sewing another piece of fabric.

2. Keeping about 3/8" from all 3 edges sew a straight line widthwise across one end of your fabric. This will be the top of the front panel of you clutch.

2. Take the sewn edge and so that it is inside out fold it up about a 1/3 of the way lengthwise to create the clutch pouch. Make sure it's deep enough to hold items you will be carrying in it. Pin in place. If you are using real leather you can sew on the topside of the leather so the seam will show like Claire's bag and you won't have any hang over on the flap.

3. Place the envelope on the unpinned part of the fabric, this will be the flap. Your clutch might be wider than the envelope, that's ok just line them up in the middle.

4. Trace and cut. My clutch was wider than the envelope so I just used a ruler to continue the lines to the end of my fabric.

5. Sew. Make sure the flap is pleather side up when placed under the sewing machine. Starting at one lower end of the clutch sew up the side, around the edges of the flap and back down the other side.

6. Turn clutch right side out. Fold flap over pouch(sorry for these very technical terms, I couldn't think of any others). Use Exacto-knife to puncture the flap where the button will come through. Then while flap is still in place use marker to dot button placement through the hole you just created.

7. Sew the button on by hand and then use scissors to increase the opening's size to fit the button. I made my opening in a cross shape so the pleather would hug the button.
-I'm thinking I will probably reinforce the opening since pleather stretches easily.

8. Enjoy your new Envelope Clutch.

Aug 8, 2011

Featured on Practical Fashionista

The lovely Lisa from Practical Fashionista featured me, from this post, on her blog today about staying true to your style. I totally agree with her that it's important to focus on wearing what you love and what makes you feel good and not on what is the "right" or "fashionable" thing to wear. My 82 year old grandma loves rhinestones, sequins, bright prints, and heels. She looks beautiful in them and giggles like a school girl when anyone comments on how great she looks. No orthopedic shoes or polyester pants and sweater tops for her. Trends are fun and fashion is fabulous but don't forget to focus on who you are and what you like when dressing. Feeling like a million bucks in something tried and true from your closet is better than paying a small fortune to keep up with trends that you feel uncomfortable or self conscious in. Go check out Practical Fashionista for news on fashion and tips to help style the best possible you.

My picture is from the Leopard Week challenge created by awesome blogger Sheila from Ephemera that I found out about from the talented Wendy B. of Wendy Brandes. It was a fun week of reveling in my love of leopard.   

Aug 7, 2011

Cut Out Shoulder Blouse DIY

Did this super easy DIY yesterday after seeing it on several girls over the last few months and thinking it was cute. I used A Pair & A Spare's tutorial for reference, but it's so easy you can just go for it.

-a shirt
-fabric scissors
-fabric pen/marking utensil that won't run your top
-a piece of paper to create stencil
-a ruler (not necessary but helpful)

1. Choose a blouse. Since this was my first time I used a shirt I liked but that was really cheap, so I wouldn't mind so much if I ruined it.
It had passants so I had to make sure my cut outs were longer than them.
2. Make a stencil the size of your cut out. It should be an oval.
My cutouts were small about 4x4.5"
3. Pin the stencil exactly where you want your cutouts. Trace. Cut.

4. Try on shirt to make sure you like size/placement of cutouts. If you aren't sure how large you want your holes to be start small, try on the shirt, and then cut them larger if you want. Once you cut you can't go back.

5. Pin and sew down raw edges. I just hand stitched them but you can use a sewing machine.

6. And you're done. You are now the owner of a sexy little shirt that will be a great transition piece to wear from Summer into Autumn, and Winter if you live in warmer climates.

Enjoy and Happy Sunday Funday!

Aug 2, 2011

Shameless Promotion for my Man's Band

My longtime (almost 7 years) bf is a musician/drummer/recording engineer who has been in a lot of bands and has made and produced a lot of music over the years. Most of these bands have been Punk bands and are supported by a very limited community. I love the music but understand many people don't. For the last few months he's been playing in a Rock & Roll band, DimeRunner, that I absolutely love and actually think other people will enjoy because it's just good ole' party music. Check out their FB page and then listen to their song on the Surf and Destroy Radio podcast, Session #19, 2nd song in. Tell me what you think. If you like them and live in the OC area they are playing with Vice Five at the Juke Joint in Anaheim August 5ht and the Voodoo Glow Skulls at the Slide Bar in Fullerton August 18th. I'll be there. Come out enjoy some live Rock 'n Roll and drink with me!

Aug 1, 2011

Booze and Brides

The last month has been a whirlwind of wine, wives, and white for me. I was in two friends weddings just two weeks apart and before, during, and in between squeezed in two showers, two wine tour bachelorette parties, and two fabulous weddings for friends I love dearly. One bride I've known for 20 years. Considering I'll be 27 in two weeks that's a long f'ing time. The other I've been friends with for just about 13 years. Obviously, I'm all about keeping old friends around. Both brides went for a more earthy D.I.Y vibe. One surrounded by water (fitting when marrying an ex-Navy man) and the other surrounded by green overgrown gardens (perfect for a neo-hippie with a love for vintage). Being a D.I.Y enthusiast I was blown away by all the homemade and personal touches and involvement of family and friends so I felt like sharing images from these special occasions that had been consuming all my free time.

First Wedding

Bride to be at shower with my handmade pompoms.
After 20 years we are ready to celebrate!
When the venue is this gorgeous you don't need to dress it up.
Bridal party at DIY photo booth.
No glitz and glam needed when love is shining bright.
Second Wedding
On our way to an eco-focused winery tour/tasting in the San Ynez Valley.

Rehearsal dinner at a silent movie theater. Classic love scene montage and movie poster made by the groom, who a film major in undergrad.

Decor and flowers put together by friends and family. Typewriter  used to write notes to the newly weds.

Again, you don't need the razzle dazzle to have a beautiful wedding.