June 2014 Purchases

I did quite well and almost kept this down under $100. I picked up the shirt and sweaters for a song, really. The color on the shorts is washed out in the picture -- in real life they are quite orange.

Summer Fashion Forecast

I've been asked to do a blog post for a campaign called Closet Swap. A group of bloggers are sharing their wardrobe ideas for summer. This is a collaboration with Raise.com; they are a new platform where you can buy gift cards to your favorite brands at a discounted price, and sell your unused gift cards for cash. Be sure to check them out if you are in need of gifts for all those summer occasions you'll be attending.
Summer clothes are a bit of a challenge for me. As a teacher, I don't work in the summer, and as a result, a tee and shorts are pretty much a uniform for me. Basic tees and shorts don't have to be boring though; here are some ideas to spice up that basic uniform and still keep your cool.

1. Go Tribal

Tribal prints are big this season, and the fun thing about them is that you can add them on top or on bottom with equal ease. Some of my favorites:
This J.Crew Factory Charley Sweater in Geometric Stripe is an eye catcher.
J.Crew's Cotton Piqué short in gemstone is also interesting.

I love this Sanctuary Soft Skort for a little dressier look.

2. Get Stripe Struck

Stripes seem to be everywhere this season. What type of stripes you wear depends on your clothing personality. Are you the bold striking type? Wear larger even stripes in two contrasting colors. Are you the fun party person? Add stripes of different sizes and lots of colors. The possibilities are endless. When it comes to stripes, I tend to stretch out and add some skirts and dresses. I practically live in my white and navy striped ponte skirt. Some of my favorites:
What could be cooler than a Bold Stripe T-Shirt Dress?
For a softer look, how about a Variegated Stripe Tee?
These Edrea Shorts in Stripe would look smashing with all of your tees.

3. Be Bright

For me, summer means pulling out all the stops as far as color goes. Pale colors wash out under all that sun, so fight back with brights. You can either pull from the basic colors of the crayon box or take it a step further and go neon. When mixing colors, remember the basics of the color wheel. Primary colors - red, yellow, and blue - are going to be your staples. Some of my favorites:
This J.Crew Factory Textured Charley Sweater will catch their attention!
Dare to wear highlighter yellow with a Slub-Knit Scoop Tee.
(Yellow looks great with all the nautical looks you'll see this summer.)
Riviera Shorts in cobalt blue go with lighter blues, white, purple, red,
black, orange, yellow and green -- the  perfect mixer!

4. Find a Floral

Summer is the perfect time to flaunt a floral pattern. With all the myriad of possibilities, you are sure to find one you like. I prefer big prints like this on my bottom half. Some of my favorites:
The Hibiscus Floral Shorts will make you feel like you are on vacation.

If denim is more your style, how cute are these Embroidered Denim Cutoff Shorts?
Go with classic black and white with these Floral Printed Shorts.
I'll keep all these in mind as I dress for the rest of the summer. For the next few weeks I'll be wearing a look more like the hiker below as I vacation in the mountains of Peru. Have a great summer!

Ebay, Week 2

Here are the results of a second week of eBay listings. Things really move if you price them to sell!

The Last Shoe Painting

The best thing about painting shoes is that eventually -- you're done. Yeah! Anyway, I think I've pretty much run out of shoes to paint. I never did finish my two purse projects because I got so busy with shoes. So, once these are done, I can concentrate on those!!

Anyway, these gray shoes are in the middle of turning orange. This is after one coat and a pretty slapdash one at that. I tend to get a little sloppy on the inside where no one sees. I hardly ever wore these shoes in dark gray, so we'll see if turning them orange will do the trick.

These shoes were a originally a very nondescript off white color -- too light to be considered nude. I got them to go with one skirt I had. I think they look smashing in cobalt blue!
This is where the painting really gets interesting. I tried very hard to just paint the brown parts, but even with a fine hair brush it was a difficult task. I covered the brown "jewel" with white paint for now, but ultimately it would probably be better to paint it with white nail polish. What do you think?
These very favorite brown sandals are in the middle of turning red. They will need a few more coats to completely mask the brown tint. I'll fix the gold hardware with my trusty silver leaf pen.

Please ignore the dirty footbeds...

These mules are some I've had for YEARS, but they are so easy and comfortable. They are turning red here, but I couldn't figure out how to preserve the contrast stitching. Ah well.
I've been painting this particular pair of sandals for quite a while. The intricate braid work is hard to cover with paint. I tend to paint a bit on them and then move on to something else. I think I will really like them once they are done. If they are ever done.
This pair of shoes is soooo comfortable, but I didn't pull them out very often because the taupe color (is it brown? is it silver? is it gray?) didn't really go much with what I have. I am busy turning them into navy blue.
These flower sandals are turning slowly navy. This is another pair that is taking a long time because of the intricacy of the flowers  on the top.
I had to think for a while about whether I wanted to paint these shoes. The aged brown appearance was frankly, so cool. They are INCREDIBLY comfortable though, and I knew I'd wear them more in black now that I got rid of all of my brown pants.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

This is what I wore today. I love how the cobalt jacket looked with the yellow shirt. It really made that yellowish jean stitching pop.
Mitered Stripe Maxi Skirt, Loft; Yellow Tee, Chicos; Jeans Jacket, Talbots; Pambil Earrings, Chicos.

June 16-20, 2014

I've noticed that I tend to gravitate to pink, blue, green and orange in the summer (and red, too, but not as much, surprisingly). Many of these items (the blue crops, the pink button-up, the pink tee, the green shorts, the black shorts, and the green tee) are items I recently dyed. Fun stuff.

Overdyed Denim

Overdye in more ways than one. My laundry room has been a mess with this ongoing dyeing going on. It was nice to get it all clean and ship-shape again. My goal here was an overdyed denim look. I used 2 oz of true navy and 4 oz of better black in a 9 gallon dye bath. Did I get an overdyed denim look? Hmm...well, not so much. The problem with dyeing denim (which I was already well aware of) is that dyeing takes away some of the woven characteristics of denim. Some of my finished pieces look more like chino now than denim. Anyway, here's how it went.
I added two tee shirts (and a tank, but I forgot to get a picture of it) to the dye bath. I'd forgotten all about the lesson I learned from orange and added a few too many items to it. As I result, one of the tees came out a bit stippled. Both of these used to be light blue.
This wrap skirt from Christopher & Banks dyed pretty well. It just has a little variation in color. It doesn't really look like it is denim anymore, though. I may try sand washing some of these pieces to get the worn look around the stitching again.

These boyfriend capri jeans from Talbots suffered a similar fate. I'm sure I'll still wear them, but they look don't look so much like jeans anymore.

Top: Chicos jeans
Left Bottom: Lee jeans
Right Bottom: Christopher & Banks jeans

 These three pairs of pants were all too light of a wash for me to wear anymore, so I chucked all three into the dye bath. Interestingly enough, the Chicos pants on the top didn't fare nearly as well as all the other Chicos jeans I dyed. The Lee pants in the middle had a fair amount of spandex, so they dyed with a bit of color variation, i.e. looking more like real jeans. The Coldwater Creek jeans on the bottom came out looking like dark navy pants with a bad dye job.
All of these clothes were originally in the donate pile, so I was pretty pleased with my overall results. I think dyeing denim so that it still looks like denim is pretty near impossible, though.

Better in Black

For black, I used all three Procion blacks - jet black, new black and better black, and 8oz of dye total for a 12 gallon dye bath.
The first item was boyfriend cords from Eddie Bauer. They came out looking pretty good. I'll probably get more use out of them in the black than the old taupe-ish color.

I also dyed this motorcycle type fleece jacket from Eddie Bauer. It came out amazing. The hardware is brass, so I've been busy refashioning it to silver. I'm about 1/2 way done, as you can see in the after picture. The details stand out a lot more in the black dye, so I think it looks pretty awesome. It still looks gray here but it is BLACK.

This was a linen cardigan in gray from Talbots. It also came out looking very good. The buttons are a dark enough gray that I think they still look okay even with the new black color.

This pair of olive brownish shorts from Calvin Klein are now black with interesting light stitching. I may try to paint the buttons.

This Waverly J. Crew linen jacket was a black and white tweed. It just faded to gray on. I had to already wash this one to get rid of smoke smell (eBay) so I figured - what the heck? It came out GORGEOUS. With the light, I know it looks gray in the picture, but actually the whole thing dyed to a beautiful saturated black.

Left pair: used to be gray.
Right pair: used to be light brown.
I also dyed some denim -- these gray pants and a pair of light brown ones. Both of them had a bit of spandex in them, so the dye job still looks like denim. I thought they both turned out rather well.

The last two items were a dark gray cashmere scarf and these cargo crops. The cashmere scarf is darker now than it was -- it's almost a true black. The pants came a very nice black, with "contrast" stitching now, of course.

If you'll pardon the dirty state of my mirror, you'll see that the scarf came out looking pretty back. This is the scarf that goes to church with me every week in the winter -- I use it like a blanket to cover my legs.
By the way, that's the green sweatshirt I dyed here. Doesn't it look great?! This picture shows it's true color better than the original one.