I Own, I Want, I Wish: Maxi Dresses

Welcome to a new little diddy called I Own, I Want, I Wish. This edition is going to focus on the glorious maxi dress. Yes, that genius design that allows for easy breezy comfort year 'round. I'm sort of obsessed with maxi dresses at the moment (and by moment I mean the past 1.5 years), because they are such a fantastic wardrobe solution for those days when I feel like I have nothing wear. But most importantly, they allow a shorty like me to look longer and taller... thanks to a good pair of 4-5" inch wedges to boost my height and keep my hemline from dragging. I actually had someone refer to me as "statuesque" in one of these bad boys. 5'0" me statuesque?! I'll take one in every color and pattern, please! Thanks.

Now let's shop to it. Below are maxi dresses that I own, dresses that I want {and I wouldn't mind whipping my debit card out to purchase}, and dresses that I could only wish to own.
Left to right: Short Sleeve Maxi Dress in Blue Aztec {on sale!}; J Crew Maxi Dress {purchased Spring '11 and no longer available, but they do have a Factory version available}; Lush Knit Maxi Dress; Harmonious Pairing Chemise {no longer available}; Turnaround Chemise {no longer available}; Tank Maxi Dress; Three-Quarter Sleeve Fitted Maxi

Left to right: JCrew Sasha Dress in Bright Flame; C&C California Colorblocked Tank Dress {and the rad necklace that I have a killer crush on paired with it here}; Tie Dye Dress; Splendid Racerback Stripe Dress; Color Blocked Dress {only $14.50!}; Ella Moss Ikat Dress; Free People Chambray Maxi Dress

Left to right: Paper Crown Clove Long Sleeve Colorblock Dress; M Missoni Knit Tank Dress; Rachel Pally Lita Dress; Patterson J. Kincaid Mista Ruffle Dress {the orange sash is killing me, smalls}; DVF Abigail Dress; ALICE by Temperely Long Yasmine Dress {I'd feel like a ray of sunshine in this one}; ISSA Printed Long Kimono Dress

Which is your favorite? Can't choose just one? Me, either. But if you twisted my arm and made me, I'd purchase the C&C California Colorblock Tank Dress and that awesome Adia Kiburn Chain & Neon Braided Necklace right. this. second. Holla!

I's Monthly Love: March Edition

My monthly love is gushing over Elizabeth Messina's fashion/bridal photography.  Her style and images work well with the sweet vintage looks of Anthropologie or Ruche.  She's been featured in loads of online and print magazines as well as all over the internet retail sites.  Her lighting is soft, but bright; her backgrounds subtly textured, and her poses (like the knee hug on a chair) highlight the draping of the fabric and the lines of the body.  She manages to capture the small touches that make an image whimsical and emotion evoking.  I can't stop dissecting them!  They're posed, but not static.  Everything looks "real".

I've been drawn lately into really feminine and "pretty" looks, but my own personal style is so far from it.  I wonder why that is so?  Maybe I'm getting sucked into the vintage photo trend and it's subconsciously telling me that "I'm supposed to like it.  I'm supposed to photograph this way."  How much of it is my actual photo taking "vision" and how much of it is just following a trend?  Stick around and we'll see! :)

What kind of fashion photography do you prefer?
Bold and modern? (like Express, runway looks)
Preppy and classic? (like J.Crew, LOFT)
Analogue Vintage? (like Urban Outfitters)
Avant Garde? (like BHDLN)
Pretty Vintage? (like Ruche)

M's Monthly Love: March Edition

My monthly love is a little different... It is something that I think about and quote all the time, and find myself laughing out loud at the idea in my head.  And as usual, I end up looking like a crazy person.  ;)

My mom, sis, and I took a road trip recently, and my sister and I ended up repeating parts of this over and over, the whole time.  We love to sing the jingles.  My mom was probably about ready to kick us...

Treat.  Yo.  Self. 

FINE LEATHER GOODS.  My computer froze to buffer right when Donna said that, and her eyes were so wide and hilarious!  If you haven't seen "Parks and Rec," you are missing out!  Tom Haverford is one of the funniest fictional characters, EVER.  Just look at him dance!  Genius!

I "monthly" LOVE Treat. Yo. Self.

My sis and I are planning to pick a "Treat. Yo. Self. day" for the years to come, but I think our theme song will always be "Treat. Yo. Self. Two-thousand-leven!"

*I do not own this video... Nor do I know the rules. Nor do I have any money in case anyone wants to sue me.  All I have are fragrances and fine leather goods.  I'm not trying to steal this or do anything that will land me in a Martha-Stewart type prison or anywhere that I can't Treat. My. Self.  Just trying to do some free adverts for P&R.  Seeing all those "I don't own this" and "no copyright infringement intended" disclaimers on youtube really freaked me out.  In case you can't tell...

K's Monthly Love: March Edition

As March winds down (does anyone else think that this month flew by ever so quickly?), it's time to introduce another monthly series: Monthly Love! These posts will involve each of us sharing something that shot a Cupid's arrow straight into our hearts. And that something really can be anything {sky's the limit!}, so hopefully we'll find a little something for everyone each month!

So without further adieu, here is my monthly love for March. [Insert trumpets!]
Say hello to Little Miss Austen: Pride & Prejudice and Little Master Shakespeare: Romeo + Juliet, two counting primer board books written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver. Aren't these the most precious pieces of kiddie lit you've seen in awhile?! As a children's book lover I find these to be two irresistible additions to my library. Take a look inside on Amazon and you'll get a glimpse into the genius simplicity that Pride & Prejudice and Romeo + Juliet have been boiled down to in just a few kid-friendly pages. I think this is an amazing way to introduce a child to the classics, and hopefully spark an interest in becoming a life-long literature lover. Now what's more to love than that?*

*I must confess: I may be a little under the baby love influence this Monthly Love post. My heart can't help but eat up anything kid related, as a new little guy just joined the family. He's my true Monthly Forever Love. Welcome, O! You've stolen our hearts.

Love Where You Live: Dallas Market Center's Mini-Market!


Debuting our series, "Love Where You Live!"
Technically, "love where you live" is all about the physical city/neighborhood we live in.  I live in Frisco, but I can't help loving Downtown Dallas.  I grew up way north of downtown and always dreamt that after college I would move right into the heart of a well-known urban city.  I would walk down the flights of my apartment or brownstone steps and stroll through the eons of stores, delis, and restaurants surrounding me.  They would know me by name and send me off to tackle the day with a smile.  That never happened and probably never will now that I'm pretty settled up in Frisco.  But that doesn't mean cool stuff isn't happening in my suburban neighborhood!  Love Where You Live is meant to encourage us to discover, support, and appreciate where we've chosen to plant roots.  Go and Love Where You Live!

Even though this STILL isn't a post on Frisco, I had to post about this event down in Dallas!

Today I got to accompany R's parents to Dallas Market Center which is a trade only wholesale shopping mall.  His parents own a resale/antiques company and so they get trade access!  Thirteen stories of whatever you desire from furniture, home decor accents, holiday decorations, and....FASHION!  There were 4 ENTIRE floors of JUST fashion temporary booths.  I guess those floors normally have temporary booths and today happened to be fashion!  I got super excited (and I'm not a shopper) until I remembered this was wholesale and I wouldn't be able to walk away with anything.  So many hot dressed young buyers were bustling around grabbing things for their stores - so cool!  I took a few photos of things that caught my eye and things that I thought you girlies would like!

Driftwood wreath that can be made into a mirror.  Union Jack rug!

I absolutely love relief letters in the same color as the wall - it pops in such a fun way.  More driftwood/twig wreaths for $90 wholesale.


For the industrial/modern girl: a fun light and a simple bar cart.

I still love that chair for some reason and a tricycle sculpture for Kerry.

Very interesting chairs!  No one else appreciated them: "Does that look comfortable to you?" Who cares? It's awesome!
Maigen, I found your lamp!  

How fun are these displays?  I love the fabric that the tent is made out of, like so much!  The right picture screams hollywood glam to me, yes?

Another cowhide metallic stripe rug and some knotty ball...

This dress was the first thing I saw walking in and I was like, "Ba-Bam!"  I wasn't expecting storefronts, just booths, so I kinda went crazy over all the display windows.  Right: a fun, colorful bed

Top: This bed was so pretty!  Right: Mixing woods with metallics
Bottom: I love that @ sign.  Right: A wedding scape fit for my friend, Alisa.

This was my absolute favorite piece of the day.  It was just so different from the masses of other things.

Everyone thought this was SOOOO cute.  I had to look at it without paying attention to the horrible backdrop.  Those little plant markers would work well in a backyard garden for kiddos!  I have to agree - they are cute!

Market was fun and the samples of peach bellinis, margaritas, snacks, fruit, sandwiches, and cheese made the long drive worth it even if I didn't buy anything.  I'm glad my first trip was on an off day because normal markets are JAM packed!  Haha, JAM...market...JAM packed...
fine, don't laugh.

Hopefully, the girls and I will get to show Canton, the flea market, to you sometime this year!
*buyer tip: bring a bag to carry catalogs and such, travel light

Headboard Tufting


So Isabel, the Indecisive Home Owner here!  We've been in the house for 4 years now and I finally gathered all the right equipment to attempt a decent headboard! Camila's Crate/Barrel knockoff! helped encourage me to try my own, while my cheap a$$ made sure that I didn't buy an outrageously priced one from a store.  (Anybody else think that furniture is OVERLY expensive?!)  But for all that time, I was debating between a gray fabric or a navy fabric, real velvet or linen, a print or solid, a rectangular shape or ornate shape, tufted or untufted, diamond tufted or regular tufted, you get the idea!  Then pinterest boomed and I found even MORE great headboards to envy!

I absolutely LOVE the color scheme here and the white trim to add that simple pop of color!  It turns a traditional shape into something modern and timeless!

Source: styleathome.com via Isabel on Pinterest
Kerry first pinned this and I loved how the headboard was such a focal point with that nice burnt orange and print!

Source: google.com via Isabel on Pinterest

This was my absolute favorite, but since I bought my fabric before I saw this, I didn't purchase enough to replicate =/.  I still wish I had made mine like so, but oh well!

I finally decided that I really wanted to diamond tuft like Urban Outfitter's, just because it's a little more of that extra oomph!  It's a small detail that really stands out!  Luckily, a few bloggers had posted how they diamond tuft and I spent my nights and weekends reading and reading.  I only found maybe 3 tutorials, each one tufting a different object so I had to find the commonality between each of them.  The best one that worked for me was Brick City Love's Diamond Tufting.  She even has a diagram that shows how to calculate the amount of fabric you'll need and how to add some gorgeous lumps.

While I waited for the perfect fabric, I...
1. Marked height of headboard with sticky note
2. Made a template out of paper measuring 66" wide with a 6x6 grid drawn on it.  You can tell I borrowed the shape from the UO headboard.
3. Lived with template for months!  I had this template up since AUGUST 2011!

After saving a TON of headboard fabric choices, none of which I could decide on, an email popped in one November day stating free shipping on orders over $35 AND a discount of 20% off from Fabric.com!  Well I hurried to pick one real quick!  Since velvet was uber expensive, I opted for a suede fabric (looks like velvet from far away - yes?!)  My fabric budget was to get as close to $35 as possible to receive the free shipping :)  3 months from template to fabric!  

Then life happened and I didn't have time or the in-law's help to choose the right wood for my headboard.  (R's dad is a carpenter and always accompanies us to Lowe's.)  It's a blessing and a curse!  We always get great expert advice, but at the same time we don't trust ourselves to to go alone so we have to WAIT.  And I'm not good with waiting.

Finally, in early January, I knocked it out!  The rest of the steps are pretty dead on to Kerry's - so check out her cool collage for the hardware store shopping if you're visual like me!

Next Steps:

What I would do differently is tuft first, then add nailhead trim, THEN staple fabric to the back.  Since I stapled first, I wasn't able to have deep tufts because the fabric was too tight.

I saved A TON of money by waiting for deals, which caused more impatience, but the money saved makes me happy!  For example, I was getting the rest of the supplies from Joann's, which had two types of coupons for me to use.  One coupon worked all week long, while another was just for the weekend, but would count for sale and regular priced items.  I scoured the ads each week looking for foam to be on sale.  Luckily, foam was on sale at the same time as the coupons - I just needed to wait for the weekend to maximize my savings!  (MORE WAITING - GAHH!!!) I was able to get pricey foam for only $30!

Without further ado, here's the end result!  The shape is wider than the original design because I didn't think the UO shape was proportional to my bed.  Also, the thick fabric made it difficult to score the corners like in my sketch.  I don't know how you're supposed to do that right, so if you find out let me know!  Another change - I didn't diamond tuft =/  Not enough fabric!  If I had bought more, it would've been possible but I was really intent on keeping my costs as far away from retail price as possible.

Sorry this post is WORDY while at the same time remaining completely uninformative, but really, there are so many how-to's out there!  You'll find one out there!

Here's everything I used and the price breakdown! Most people use 1-3 inch foam for headboards.
-4 yds of fabric - vintage suede navy - from Fabric.com - $28.74
-nailhead trim kit - from joann's - $15?
-upholstery needle - from joann's - $2.99 (40% off)
-(2) button kit 14 size 36 - from joann's - $4.99 (50% off)
-(2) button kit 14 size 36 - from joann's - $5.99 (40% off)
-upholstery thread - from joann's - $3.41 (40% off)
-lumber - 3/4 x 4 x 8 blondewood hardwood - from lowe's - $40.97
-(4) bolts - 1/4 x 20 x 2 1/2 - $0.80
-(4) washers - $0.44
-(4) nuts - $0.48
-4 yds of 1 inch foam @8.49/yd - from joann's - $31.50 (50% off with 15% mailer)

-spray adhesive - already had but retails for about $12.99
-2x4's - from dad's garage
-rubber mallet - from lowe's - $13.98
total: $148.29 compared to $350 @ UO
($119.31 w/o nailhead trim)

Side note: Since I didn't have everything altogether at once, it took me about 4 Saturdays to complete.  I forgot to mention earlier that you need to cover your buttons with fabric - that'll take a good few hours time; plus some patience! :)
I'm sure if I had everything altogether, it would've taken me just two or three days.

Let me know if I can be more clear on something!

Kerry & D: a small story

I introduced the lovely Kerry to her hubs (how many years ago? 4!?), not that they wouldn't have met anyway... But, the day they met was magical (for them) and hilarious (for me).  We were sitting in a row: me, then Kerry, then her hubs.  They had REALLY hit it off.  I knew something was a-brewin'. 
Like 6 months later... :)
Suddenly, Kerry felt a hand on her back.  Although she thought her future husband was very attractive, she was totally taken back by his premature, presumptuous familiarity.  Kerry and I were talking, and I couldn't help but notice she was leaning more and more forward, until the poor thing was practically touching her knees with her face!  I couldn't tell what was wrong, but it came to light after she finally realized the hand on her back wasn't D's, but was the hand of another (although no more welcome) guy standing behind us.  It was so funny, as Kerry had to explain that she was practically contortionist-ing herself because she thought D had his hand on her back!  Might have scared some guys off, thinking that his hand repulsed her to such extreme measures (and angles, she could have injured her back), but he overcame the moment with flying colors, and today they are celebrating their fabulous life together!  Yay for love!  :)


Maigen's first headboard

My fabulous little sister enlisted my help with her bedroom.  She has a lot of white bedding and was looking to spice things up a bit by adding in some purple.  I was super-excited at the prospect of using my absolute favorite fabric, EVER:
It's a dark purple (my mom says it's brown with a purple-ish hue, I say it's totally purple.  The purple of grape Kool-aid, only saturated).  The print is dark, inky purple and an amazing grey/tan with metallic running through it. 

Did I mention EVER?  How gorgeous is that?!

Unfortunately, I have no purple in my tiny apartment, so it will be a while before I can incorporate this anywhere in my own home.  But, at least this way, I can visit it! 

I picked up the fabric in Dallas at one of my fave fabric shops on Midway, The Fabric Yard, which is the size of a football field and has great prices.  I also got some grey/tan fabric for the pad on the antique trunk my sis painted cream at the end of the bed:
(Just fyi, that fabric is exactly like the one I will be making MY headboard out of later!  The photo is actually of her fabric, mine is the same, but in a dark, rich grey.  I love it because it is velvet, and from far away looks almost like leather.  It catches the light so prettily, it practically shimmers!) 
I think all together, the headboard fabric was only about $120 (including tax) for the 6 yards I got.  Amazing deal for such nice, thick fabric!  Plus, metallic!  It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that BLING. ;)  

My mom and Bob (my step-dad) and I went up to OKC one weekend to make the headboard.  It only took a few hours! 


We figured out that the fabric running sideways (the way we did it on the headboard) was actually about the same size (within a few inches) of the fabric running up and down.  In order to avoid cutting the fabric and sewing it, while trying to keep the pattern in tact, to make it wide enough for their California King bed (her hubs is 6'7''), we just went the other way.  The pattern is so cool, it totally worked!

My awesome Mom & Bob had some ideas about making the thing, since they had made one for their Master bedroom, which I will have to post about later, since it's gorgeous.  We didn't make it to attach to the bed-frame, but to just stand between the wall and bed.  We put a 2X4 across the bottom, to add support.  We put foam and then wrapped the fabric and stapled it like crazy.  We didn't bother with adhesive, or batting, and I think it is just as sturdy as if we had.  The main thing was lining up the pattern!  With such a graphic pattern, we decided not to tuft it, plus, the fabric itself is metallic, so we did without nail heads, making this an easy afternoon project.  Having three of us working on it didn't hurt, either, because one of us could smooth the front while another pulled the back tight and the third stapled!  The most important thing was that we stapled a couple in the very center of each side, to make sure the fabric stayed where we wanted it to begin with.  We actually kept it upright most of the time, and having three of us really helped with that, too!

Finished product:

Yay, my first headboard!  Simple and elegant, if I do say so myself.  Which I do!  (Also loving the cute grey scroll-print curtains I found at Target for the room!)

You can also see the awesome dip-dyed TARGET lamps I snatched up in a moment of decorating bliss for the room make-over!
I can't remember the exact pricing, unfortunately, probably because my sis paid for everything... However, we had worked it out, and I think it cost about $300 total.  Rough estimates:

$120--fabric @ The Fabric Yard
$72 --wood, staple gun, staples, screws @ Lowe's (thanks for the military discount, Lowe's!  My brother-in-law is Air Force and they got like 10% off!)
$65 --foam (Hobby Lobby, I think?  Hard to remember when your brain is so full of meaningless crap!)

Now, I have to do my own!  For the design, I found this on Pinterest, and am going to have to do nail heads in THIS exact pattern... I was so indecisive about how/if to do nail heads/tufting, until I saw this and I knew it was love:
From here: http://www.serenaandlily.com/Rooms/Bedrooms
That's it!  I love upholstered headboards, even more now that I know they can be pretty easy & inexpensive!  Two of my favorite characteristics when it comes to projects! ;)

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