Vintage Chair Facelift

It’s not easy being green. Or is it? When hunting for new furniture for my apartment – the first place I’ll go is thrift and antique stores to see what I can salvage and update for my abode. Why run to Target or Ikea if there’s tons of gorgeous furniture already out there?!

I came across a set of these vintage chairs while going on a fabric run. A mega steal – the pieces were discounted – costing me only $9 each! After a thorough inspection and sniff test I decided they were a deal not to be passed up. Besides – I had to replace the rickety rocking chair I had in my living room. Or at least, that’s what I convinced myself of! All the chairs would need is a good cleaning, airing, and brightening up. Using some leftover Yolo paint, David and I taped off the wood and gave it a fresh coat.

The result is a fusion of old world craftsmanship with a modern whitewash finish. They’ve become an instant centerpiece in our place and will see many years of heartfelt Scrabbling, reading and pet napping. And people say it’s not easy being green.

Styling: Mustard Seed Miracles

So it seems pretty obvious that I have developed a recent obsession with the color yellow. Within the past 2 months I have purchased, made, featured, or photographed at least 20 different things in the hue’s range.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that in this “Styling” the main attraction is a warm fuzzy mustard cardigan. This cozy sweater was my favorite find of autumn – discovered while doing a fabric run at a local thrift shop – the saturated color and high quality tailoring forced me to pop it in my cart. Combined with the ever-modern stripes of an old school Old Navy dress, grey leggings, sequined gold peter pan collar necklace, and black vintage boots, this is one of those ensembles I can see myself wearing for years to come!

Styling: Wanderlustings Lust

I absolutely adore Caitlin Peters of Wanderlustings! Not only is she my craft fair collaborator extraordinaire – she’s also the brains behind the exceptionally beautiful line of jewelry and the blog that goes with it. Imagine my delight when one of her recent posts featured my “No Sweat” upcycled sweater! I love the way Caitlin layers the piece with a delicate white lace undershirt and pencil skirt. The cowboy boots are a nice touch too! It makes the top perfect for lounging and wearing to the office.

Inspiration: Vintage Ochre Skirt

I heart things like a maniac on Etsy and am also now a super Pinterest user. Between the two I collect image upon image of beautiful fashions, unique clothing, and inspiring outfits. But when I found this adorable corduroy skirt on Astral Boutique’s Etsy something made me stop. Maybe it’s the super cute over-sized bow in the model’s hair. Or perhaps it’s the breezy white blouse combined with the bold color of the skirt. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above! No matter the reason – I simply had to share this photo as it instantly brought a smile to my face.

New Designs: Pumpkin Spice

You know those cool autumn nights where all you want to do is cuddle up in a warm knit sweater and read your favorite novel? That’s exactly what I was channeling when creating this new design! Reshaped from a vintage men’s sweater, this top boasts a cozy over-sized fit, 3/4 bell sleeves, a vivid pumpkin hue and an embellished lace collar. Perfect for wearing with leggings and slippers – I can’t wait to curl up in one of my own!

Planning Ahead: Fall Fashion 2011

I was reading through the Etsy Blog and came across an article about uber entrepreneur Melissa Helmbrecht and was instantly floored.

The post chronicles Melissa’s diverse array of achievements and shares her 3 piece of advice for small indie businesses. Her very first tip has haunted me since I read the article: 1. Do what you don’t feel like doing.

When I read this I had to stop, go back, and read it again. At first I had thought it said “do what you feel like doing” and thought to myself, “yeah!” Boy was I bummed when I processed it again. “What do you mean do what you don’t want to? That’s not what I want to hear!”

The article continues by reviewing the need for a business plan and forward thinking – none of which I’m against – but to be reminded of this on a warm lazy summer day hit a nerve.

I was suddenly overwhelmed – the fall season was just a mere 3 months away and I hadn’t even stopped one moment to dream up my cool weather designs. The business plan is intact – but what about the core of my brand – the clothing!?

So after ordering up some steaming sweet and sour tofu takeout I sat down to plot, draw, and dream my Fall 2011 collection. And if you think I’m stalling (don’t fashion designers figure this out year’s in advance!?) then remember that I’m not your typical clothing designer and that at times spontaneity and procrastination can lead to high pressure thinking and fabulous results!

And in case you’re just itching to see some of my thoughts I’ve included a page from my business journal above. Which leads me to wonder – have you planned out your ideas for the coming season? When did you get started? Share your insights below!