Studs & Pearls Book Review & Giveaway


Studs & Pearls Book Review & GiveawayStuds & Pearls : 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion is from the eponoymous blog Studs & Pearls by Kristen Nunez, founded in 2010. We’ve been reading each other’s blogs for quite some time, and we’ve been frequent commenters on each other’s projects. Kristen’s DIY’s are always fun, simple, and have major visual impact. With this book you can get a ton of ideas for how-to’s that can easily take your basics and jazz them up a notch.

Studs & Pearls Book Review & Giveaway

The book covers DIY basics, like Tools and Supplies, and then dives straight into the projects. It includes 30 projects, with multiple variations on each so you can put your own spin on them.  Studs & Pearls Book Review & GiveawayIt covers a variety of techniques, including fabric dyeing, stamping, no-sew projects, trim embellishment, and painting.   Studs & Pearls Book Review & GiveawayPlus the photography features real-life girls (like in street snaps) modeling the finished creations so you can get an idea of how the DIY’s will look when worn.Studs & Pearls Book Review & Giveaway

Most of the projects are extremely easy so even beginners or kids/pre-teens can get in on the fun. It’s a great jumping-off point for those just getting started to DIY.Studs & Pearls Book Review & GiveawayStuds & Pearls Book Review & GiveawayIt also includes many projects that speak to current trends, like the embellished sunglass case-turned-clutch trend, trim-detailed mini-skirts, tie-dye, embellished sunglasses, beanies, mixed media embroidery thread-and-chain bracelets, and cocktail rings. Many of the project use easily-available or unusual materials, so supplies are a cinch to come by. (There’s a directory of sources and where to buy in the back.)Studs & Pearls Book Review & Giveaway

This statement clutch turned out so pretty with some well-placed painting!Studs & Pearls Book Review & GiveawayAn interesting take on the plastic tube bracelet.

Studs & Pearls Book Review & GiveawayThese cocktail rings from buttons are particularly pretty.Studs & Pearls Book Review & Giveaway Studs & Pearls Book Review & Giveaway

Overall: It was nice to see all the variations on all of the projects. Many of the techniques are quite simple, which speak well to a young audience maybe not so familiar with DIY blogs and projects elsewhere. (There are 3 projects that do require a higher skill level, with dyeing and sewing a dress, but they stood out as somewhat incongruous next to the other projects.) It does provide inspiration and ideas on the variations, as well as styling tips, so it can be very useful in planning out your project. This would be a great book for a young teenager or someone who is just getting started to DIY.

Score: Studs & Pearls Book Review & Giveaway


One lucky winner will receive a copy of Studs & Pearls : 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion by Kristen Nunez.

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Good luck!



FTC Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Studs & Pearls for review from Laurence King Publishing. I am sponsoring the giveaway and shipping the item to the winner at my own expense. The above opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.

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Tags: giveaway, reviews, Studs and Pearls book


Japan PhotoDiary Spring 2014


Japan PhotoDiary Spring 2014The crossing at Hachiko in Shibuya remains pretty much unchanged since last year.

After spending 3-and-a-half weeks in Tokyo in February and March this year, I wanted to share some of the photos I took. Since the reason we went was for me to take care of my mother who was hospitalized, I wasn’t able to travel anywhere else with my family or spend much time outside of my mother’s apartment or the hospital. So this time around I didn’t take a large number of photos like I had in previous years, but I still was able to take a few shots. Here is my travel diary from Japan during early Spring this year:

Japan PhotoDiary Spring 2014 (more…)

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Filed in: Japan, Vacation Photo Diaries

Tags: My Travel, travel photo diary


Outfit 3.22.14: Stripes and Rhinestones


Outfit 3.22.14: Stripes and Rhinestones

Spike Rhinestone earrings: Forever 21 (similar here or here). Rhinestone sweatshirt: Forever 21 (similar here or here). White Shirt in Lotus Print: Choies. Green Stripe Mini Face with Black Glitter Band Watch: c/o Modify Watches. Striped Pants: DIY (tutorial here). Picaspike Studded Bow Rain Boots: Dizzy (a HauteLook purchase, available here; similar here).

Yup, I’m finally back from 3 and a half weeks in Japan – and still reeling from jetlag. It didn’t help that Oregon changed to daylight savings time while we were gone too – which meant a double whammy of time changes to adjust to. We’ve been sleeping only 4 hours in a row each night – and then taking a 3-hour nap during the day! Still so backwards. At least this coming week is Lil Tot’s Spring Break – so we can stay in and try and catch up on sleep, number 1, and everything that I haven’t been able to do for a month, number 2. Oh, and unpack, and clean the house, and…well, you get the idea. ;-)   Outfit 3.22.14: Stripes and Rhinestones (more…)

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Tags: my outfits


Little Warrior March Playlist to Listen To While You DIY


Little Warrior March Playlist to Listen To While You DIYMy dear friend Lex Casciato, AKA Little Warrior, is an amazing musician and up-and-coming tour de force in the world of music. She is a regular contributor to Chic Steals, curating monthly original playlists for your to stream on Spotify, add some background music to your space, mellow out to, listen to while working on your latest DIY project, and add a little music into your life.

Here’s what she says about this month’s playlist:

They say March roars in like a lion, so to balance the roar, I love listening to acoustic and calming music. I find March to be a time of reflection. (But who am I kidding… I love introspection year ’round. Nonetheless…) As I struggle to adapt to darker mornings and brighter evenings, I find myself needing balance and restoration. I desire to purge things from the prior year that I seldom used, clean house, revamp my quarterly goals, and switch up my music selection. I created this playlist with this sort of mental and physical spring cleaning in mind. May this selection of songs help to channel the roar of March’s lion into a megaphone for your wildest goals, showing you your full potential for the season of growth we are entering.

Little Warrior

Listen and enjoy!

Listen to Chic Steals March 2014 Acoustic Spring Playlist by Little Warrior

If you missed last month’s playlist, check it out here:

Chic Steals February 2014 Love Playlist by Little Warrior



Little Warrior March Playlist to Listen To While You DIYDescribed as Portishead and Oh Land meet David Bowie and the Chemical Brothers around a campfire with a drum machine, Little Warrior‘s music advocates peaceful revolution and equality for all. Active on social media, she posts inspirational quotes and upbeat ideas, spreading positivity through images and music.Find her on: Bandcamp / CD Baby / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr

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Tags: Little Warrior Spotify Playlists



DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin Purse


DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin PurseWhile I was in Tokyo last year, I picked up another felt macaron coin purse kit. (I think I’m a little addicted!)

DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin PurseI made a cute little half-and-half cookie macaron coin purse the year before, and within 6 hours of hanging it from my handbag, I promptly lost it somewhere on the streets of Tokyo. I did look for it, but never found it. (T _ T)

DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin PurseSo the next time I went I intended to buy another kit and re-make the purse…except I couldn’t find the same kit again. So I bought a chocolate chip cookie version.  DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin PurseHere are photos of the process of making these cute little purses. You need yellow and brown felt, a thread and needle, a 5cm-long zipper, 2 pieces of stiff cardboard (like cut from a milk carton), some fiberfill stuffing, scissors, a pencil, brown eyeshadow, and a small ball chain to make these.) DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin PurseHope you like it! Have fun making your own version DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin Purse
DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin Purse
Happy DIY’ing!


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Filed in: Accessories, DIY, How-To, Japan, Keychains, My DIYs, Tokyo Style

Tags: crafts, macaron coin purse, My DIY Tutorials


Giveaway! Win a Sewing Class from Craftsy


Giveaway! Win a Sewing Class from CraftsyHave you guys heard of Craftsy yet? It’s an online craft video tutorial site – with hundreds of video “classes” ranging from cake decorating, to patternmaking, jewelrymaking, spinning and weaving, knitting, photography, art, and design. Giveaway! Win a Sewing Class from CraftsyAll their classes classes are engaging and well-planned-out, and you can master a new skill easily on your own available time, from the comfort of your own home. Giveaway! Win a Sewing Class from CraftsyI especially love by their sewing classes, which span a range from intro sewing for beginners, to advanced techniques like draping and fitting. You can learn specific techniques (like Beginning Serging), Tips and Tricks to Better Sewing, or even create an entire garment from start to finish (like a pair of Designer Jeans!). Giveaway! Win a Sewing Class from CraftsyAnd you can also purchase items through Craftsy, like sewing patterns, yarn, or fabrics, which help get your DIY projects underway that much faster.

This week I am partnering with Craftsy to offer one lucky reader a free sewing class!

Giveaway! Win a Sewing Class from Craftsy
How To Enter is easy; just click on the link below to register with Craftsy to be entered to win a sewing class of your choice from their course catalog (see a full list here)

Enter to win a Craftsy class!

Rules: Giveaway period is open now for 1 week until March 19, 2014, 11:59 PM PDT. Entries received after that deadline will not be counted. Giveaway is open to entrants WORLDWIDE. You must enter through the link above in order for your entry to be counted. Applicants who are not registered with Craftsy must do so in order to enter the giveaway. If you already have an account with Craftsy, just sign in and you will automatically be enrolled in the giveaway. One entry per person (registered account with Craftsy) is allowed. After the entry period is over, the Craftsy team will pick one entry from all valid entries. Winner will be contacted via email; if they do not respond within 72 hours, an alternate winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

FTC Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Craftsy and will be compensated per person who registers through this giveaway. The above opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.

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