7 Ways to Make Your Wardrobe Look Waaay More Expensive Than it Actually Is


7 Ways to Make Your Wardrobe Look Waaay More Expensive Than it Actually IsI’m a budget-shopper, you’re a budget shopper. But no one wants to actually look like they’re wearing a $4.99 blazer, no? They key to looking well-dressed is making sure you’re choosing excellent items for their value, that you can spice up with a bit of budget-friendly DIY prowess. Here are 7 ways you can look like a million bucks on a budget (even if you only spent $20!): (more…)

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Tags: advice, how to tell quality, Street Style


DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet


DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight ObjetI LOVE me some freeform, rough-hewn, organic-looking ROCKS lying about the house as home decor (and I’ve been a rockhound for as long as I can remember!). Now it’s particularly fashionable to have some large geode chunk or quartz piece sitting on one’s desk or bookshelf (which looks extremely high-end and chic…just ask Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams). But unfortunately these large hunks of rock just cost so darn much, they’re more an investment piece than something you can just get your hands on easily. I decided to go the DIY route, and make my own version of this ubiquitous geode decor – and use it as my own freeform paperweight for my desk. Plus, it’s waaaaaay cheaper than you might think! (Especially when you have some leftover quartz from other projects, like my DIY Free People Quartz Wrapped Bangle and DIY Free People Gold-Dipped Quartz Necklace.) DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight ObjetHere’s how to make your own:


DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet

polished quartz chunks (get yours from a rock shop in bulk…I got mine from Ed’s House of Gems in NE Portland)  /  plastic lid with a lip  /  Weldbond AdhesiveDIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet (or other glue for rocks)  /  clear beach glass (found in the floral section at the craft store – it’s used as vase filler)  /  gold gilding liquid and brush (optional)  /  rubber bands (optional)

How To:

DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet1. Start by placing your beach glass pieces and favorite quartz pieces into your lid to create the base of the piece. Fit as many as you can so that they are stable on the lid. It’s best to vary the shape and size of the pieces, and mix the polished quartz in with the matte beach glass.

DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet

2. Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, pick every other piece up and carefully add some generous glue along the edges where it touches the other pieces. Some you’ll pick up, others you won’t, but in the end you want all the pieces to have glue along their touching edges. Allow the base to dry.DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet

3. Once the base is sturdy, spread a large amount of glue in all the crevices and gaps [the glue I chose dries clear]. Press stones into the gaps to fill out, paying attention to the overall shape and making it rough and organic-looking like a real geode would be.DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet

4. Allow to dry. You may have to repeat this process a few times until you have built up the top of the piece, since each layer may get too heavy with rocks and they start sliding off before the glue has dried. Finish with a top layer mostly of quartz piece and allow to dry.

5. (not pictured) To make it look like a true rough-hewn geode piece, once dried flip the piece over and glue rocks to the bottom of the base so the base isn’t so perfectly round and the shape of the lid itself. Rubber bands can hold these pieces of rock onto the base until everything is dry.

6. (not pictured) If you so desire, you can give the bottom of the paperweight a layer of liquid gilding…I totally would have, except the lid to my gilding was fused closed and no amount of wrenching would get it off. So I decided the finished paperweight was better without the gold!!
DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet

And that’s it! Even though it’s technically just glass and quartz glued together…one would be very hard-pressed to actually figure out that it wasn’t just some cool-looking rock formation. DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet

(P.S. – the beautiful tea roses in the vase are actually one of my favorite Joss & Main purchases! I love their faux florals; these ones are the soft-petaled super-realistic ones.) Plus, the whole project cost me a total of $12.99 ($9 for the bag of quartz, which I had already used for other DIY’s…and $3.99 for the beach glass from Michael’s). I already had the Weldbond at home!DIY Faux Geode Quartz Paperweight Objet

That sounds like a super-bargain, no?!

Hope your office or shelf looks snazzy and lovely with this chic and cheap upgrade. Happy DIY’ing!



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Tags: home decor, My DIY Tutorials, paperweight, quartz


The Magic Pattern Book Review


The Magic Pattern Book Review

I love multi-function and time-saving shortcuts – and pattern books that offer variations on a single pattern are right up my alley. I was thrilled to receive a copy of The Magic Pattern Book: Sew 6 Patterns into 36 Different Styles! by Amy Barickman to review for my blog.

As the founder and designer of the pattern company Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman, Amy is a skilled patternmaker and has sold over 2 million patterns over the past 20 years (!). Amy’s new book is an indispensable guide to sewing an entire wardrobe and its accessories, based on only 6 patterns. It’s a unique DIY spin on sewing basics, which is perfect for what I do all the time!

The Magic Pattern Book Review

The book has a detailed introduction that has a great discussion of basic sewing tools, sizing reference, and tips and techniques. (The section on Alterations is worth its weight in gold for a DIY’er since the ability to alter garments and patterns will allow you to work from any raw materials you may come across!)

The Magic Pattern Book Review

The 6 patterns included in the book and accompany CD-ROM are a U-neck Tank Top, an A-line Skirt, a gathered-neck pull-on Dress, a collarless Cardigan, a standing neck lapped-front Coat, and an Accessory (3 hat styles, 1 scarf, and 2 drawstring bags. For each pattern, 6 variations (named after women) are included, that may lengthen or shorten the pattern, add design details, or alter the silhouette slightly.

The Magic Pattern Book Review The Magic Pattern Book Review

The instructions are illustrated with step-by-step hand-drawn illustrations. The alterations are quite simple and easy to follow – and just a small variation can create a totally different look in the finished piece!The Magic Pattern Book Review The Magic Pattern Book Review

The book also includes a CD-ROM with patterns and templates for all the projects as well as a how to use the included patterns guide. This means you can start right away with your making!The Magic Pattern Book Review The Magic Pattern Book Review

There are also notations for when you can used repurposed items or fabrics for the projects, as well as suggested fabrics for each design.

The level of the book seems geared to a less-experienced sewist, as there is a great deal of explanation and hand-holding along the way. (GREAT for those who are just graduating from beginning sewing to looking for more of a challenge!)

However, I personally am not a fan of the suggested fabrics or the model styling; though the photography is beautiful the styling choices seem somewhat dated. The fabric choices also leave something to be desired, but it does provide a starting point for your own ideas and choices – and highlights the versatility of a single pattern.

The Magic Pattern Book Review

Overall: The Magic Pattern Book Review

If you like multi-purpose patterns and adding and removing elements for the ultimate DIY take on your sewing, definitely try out the patterns in this book! The Magic Pattern Book is available on Amazon.com and major booksellers.

Check out The Magic Pattern Book HereThe Magic Pattern Book Review

The Magic Pattern Book Review


FTC Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the above book from Workman Publishing for review purposes. I have not been compensated for this post. The above opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.


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6 Unexpected and Chic Color Combos for Fall


6 Unexpected and Chic Color Combos for FallAutumn is now in full swing, and sometimes I need a little inspiration of some color combinations in my outfits that veer away from a standard plaid, maroon, mustard, brown, and dark rinse denim. (Fall I feel is always a rut for me. Just sayin’.) Just because it’s not Spring doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate brights, pastels, or other patterns! Here are 6 unexpected color combos to breathe life into your wardrobe for Fall:

1. Gold brocade/Navy

2. Pink/Red/Tan Leopard

3. Cobalt Blue/Neon Yellow/Black-and-White Leopard

4. Pale Blue/Sunny Yellow Croc/Red/Denim

5. Navy/Pale Pink/Green Sequin

6. Mint Green/Tan Check/Cream

What color combinations have you tried that surprised you with how well they worked?


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Tags: color combinations, Street Style



Chic for the Week – 5


Chic for the Week   5Welcome to another installment of Chic for the Week, where I share a couple shopping picks that have been on my mind lately.

Autumn is now fully upon us, and I’m thinking cozy with fuzzy jackets, perfect ankle booties, and warm tights. My part-time position with Studio 3 is requiring more hours lately as I grow their social media channels and do SEO analyses of their website, so I’m also thinking warm with a dash of ladylike and a hint of office-appropriateness. Here are a couple items I’m having a craving for:

1. BB Dakota Liezel Sky Blue Coat – so mod with the center zip, made of a mohair-style wool blend (but without the itch factor since I’m terribly allergic). It would look fab with a white scarf or some dangly earrings, zipped-up for an evening soiree.

2. Love the pull-on design of these New Look Wide Fit Capital Heeled Chelsea Boots- the heel is low enough that they won’t hurt after a long day, but still high enough to make your calves look gorgeous. (Plus they look great with blue jeans!)

3. Every Now and Gem Necklace in Noir is such a statement necklace, and the perfect piece-de-resistance to a simple work outfit. I’m thinking over a pastel-hued sweater on my off days.

4. A unique reincarnation of the ubiquitous striped dress, this Chalk of the Town Dress in Streamers works both for the office, and for an after-hours office party. (The pockets are an excellently useful touch.)

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a great Columbus Day!


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Tags: Chic For the Week, Wishlist Items


I’m Selling Designer Denim and Finds From My Closet! Check it Out…



Yes, folks, I have been cleaning out my closet like a madwoman. (And no, it’s not that Spring Cleaning time of year yet! Im Selling Designer Denim and Finds From My Closet! Check it Out...

I’ve experienced an unexpected and significant change in my family’s circumstances – which has thrown my son Lil Tot and I into dire financial straits. (I have not been able to share exact details yet, but I will when the time is right.)

I’ve been selling off what I can to make ends meet. Above are some items from my closet I currently have listed on Ebay…more to come soon. If you’re interested, please check them out! (Under Ebay seller name seashellcarly)

Thanks for looking!


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Tags: Ebay, for sale



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