Friday, February 28, 2014

Fashion Over Fifty: What is YOUR Fashion Style?

Hello!  I live in a small town where there are not a lot of clothing options, so very often I shop on line for the latest trends.  Because of this, I receive a lot of store advertisement emails.  Unless I'm in a big hurry I almost always open every single one of these emails and quickly page through the latest styles.  So when Forever 21 sent me their latest email, their advertising slogan really caught my eye:  'Accessories inspired by YOU!  Shop your fashion style'. " Hmmm", I thought, "What could this be about?  Are they watching what I'm pinning or looking at from their website?"  Well of course curiosity got the best of me and I had to take a look and I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered.  Forever 21 created four groups of styles and gave them names :  Bohemian,  Free Spirit, The Minimalist, and Heritage.  Now before seeing this ad, I really didn't think I had a fashion style.  I felt I wore clothing based more on the weather, the event, and the mood I was in that day.  However, while I still feel this is still true of me,  I noticed when browsing the four styles that I PINNED a ton of the Minimalist style, and although I liked a lot of things in the other styles, I didn't pin much, if anything, from the other styles.  It really was the Minimalist style that caught my eye the most, and the style that I would feel the most comfortable wearing.   Let's look at the four styles:

The first style is the Bohemian style. Forever 21 describes this style as 'Geometric shapes, Turquoise Treasures, and Floppy Fedoras for the chic Nomad'.   Now I have a few boho items in my closet:  a boho necklace by Tori Spelling, a maxi dress, and a pair of combat boots.  But I must admit that as much as I love the care- free, relaxed look of this style,   I don't wear it that much.  Maybe its because I've seen too many older women looking like aged hippies that I avoid it.  I don't know.  It's just not really me.  But here are some Bohemian items I did like:

I really LOVE this scarf and I would wear it in a heartbeat.  And with the right outfit, I would definitely wear either one of these belts.

 This is the new fanny pack for the new generation.  I would love to try one on my next vacation!  Much more stylish than the black nylon fanny packs of my generation! LOL!  Next to the fanny pack is an arrow cutout cuff bracelet.  If in the right mood, I would really like to wear this!

The next style is the Free Spirit style and is described as  "Flirty Florals, Retro Charms, and Combat Boots for the Adventure Junkie. " Here are my favorite items from this collection:

I find the lace boots so unusual and I love the feminine touch to an otherwise masculine style of shoe.  The floral belt is so pretty, and would be such a nice finishing touch to a spring outfit, and the scarf is just such a neutral, go-with-anything item.  But even though I liked a lot of individual pieces in this collection and I would wear them, I determined overall it wasn't my style.  It seems a little too youthful for me.

The third style is The Minimalist and I found it was totally, totally me.  I think I pinned almost everything from this style group.  And I found it interesting that just like my cards and design style (which I prefer clean and simple), that is also how I like my fashion.  It is described as "Neutral tones,  Minimalist Metals, and Sleek Lines for the Modern Muse. " Gees,  even the description describes my personality!  I really don't think there is one thing in this collection that I would not wear except for the Jet Black nail polish or the stilettos.  My reason for not wearing the black nail polish is obvious, but as for heels,  I'm just too old for them…they are uncomfortable and as I've said many times before, in my twilight years, I'm all about comfort.  However, I would wear these black shoes.  I love wedges, for they give you the lift and elegance of a heel, but you can still walk in them!

Here are my other top picks from this style group:
I adore this quilted handbag.  Anything quilted is so 'in' right now, and it would be the perfect neutral handbag for spring.
 These sunglasses are so chic!
 And out of all the jewelry pieces, this one was my favorite!  Love the modernist look!
The last style group is called Heritage, and is the least like me.  It is described as 'Nautical Stripes, Over sized Totes, and Classic Sandals for the Quirky Prep'.  Hmm, 'quirky prep', maybe that's the problem.  Although I like a lot of nautical pieces and just purchased several nautical items for spring, I never liked the preppy look.  Too masculine looking for my taste.  However, that being said, I did really like a lot of the handbags, shoes, and scarves in this collection.  These were my favorites:

I had to chuckle at how I was drawn to another grey striped scarf in this collection that is similar to the grey striped scarf in the Free Spirit collection.  But when I look closely at the pieces I like in this collection, they are very classic and minimalist also….just what I like and totally me!

Well speaking of grey scarves and a minimalist style,  here is a recent outfit I wore on yet another miserable, cold, snowy day in northern Wisconsin:

 I have to chuckle that with the exception of the shoes, the entire outfit is shades of grey and/or neutrals.   The top is from Express and is several years old.  It is a sheer knit top with a tie on the side.  I wore a grey lace cami underneath.
 The pants, believe it or not, I bought on clearance at Target for about $7.00 (similar pants HERE).  I find the story of these pants absolutely hysterical because on that day I went to our local mall and visited every store in the mall for a pair of grey pants and I couldn't find any that were in my size, my price range,  or that I liked.  I finally gave up and went to Target to buy groceries.  While there I saw all their clearance clothing racks and decided to take a peek.  Now, I know a lot of people love Target clothes, but I rarely buy their clothes because I don't like the quality, but I loved the look and feel of these pants, so I decided to try them on.  I was absolutely shocked!  They not only fit like a glove, but they were so comfortable too!  And for only $7.00 too!  It was my lucky day!

I accented my grey stripe shirt with a solid grey gauze scarf that has these really neat gold studs on it.  I think I got the scarf from Charming Charlies, but I really don't remember.  Sorry.  I know a lot of people love this scarf and every time I wear it someone inevitably asks me where I bought it, and I usually remember those details, but because I own enough scarves to clothe a small country, I'm starting to forget when and where I bought them!

 For shoes, I wore my favorite combat boots from Famous Footwear.  They are so warm and toasty and most importantly SAFE to walk in on our very icy sidewalks and streets in Northern Wisconsin.  I recently read on another blog that implied that combat boots are a more youthful look for younger girls, and I replied to that blogger that I wear them because they are good, practical, safe, warm boots.  So I'm sorry if the younger generation thinks I look silly wearing combat boots, but, my feet tell me otherwise!

 And finally, here is a close up of the grey denim jeans, the lace detail in the camisole, and the tie of the striped shirt.  I really love the wash in this pair of denim.  It looks slightly worn, like I've had these pants for years, and they are so soft to the touch.
So what about you?  What is YOUR Fashion Style?  Are you definitely one style, or are you a mix of everything?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great day!  Amy

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Christmas Cards

Hello!  Today I have my February Christmas Cards to share.  As most of you already know, I play the Splitcoaststampers Challenge where we make Christmas Cards all year long so that were not stressed out during the busy holiday season.  I make five cards a month so that I will have about sixty Christmas cards at the end of the year.  This year I decided to make only CAS cards limiting them to no more than two layers and as little 'lumps and bumps' as possible to make them more cost effective to mail.  I also decided to make five identical cards a month instead of five different cards a month, to take the stress out of coming up with five new designs every month.  In addition, the size of my cards was changed from A2 to a long 4 x 8 so that I can fit a photo card inside the card.

I've been very pleased with my new changes so far.  My only dilemma is finding a new CAS layout every month that still has a 'wow' impact.  This is what I came up with this month:

I used a retired Stampin Up! set called 'Celebrate the Season'.  I stamped the very large sentiment on an angle in black, then I used a sparkle black embossing powder.   I then stamped the light wire in Handsome Hunter and the light bulbs in Rose Red and Summer sun.  For extra glitz, I put Crystal Effects on the bulbs so that they are nice and shiny like real light bulbs would be.  Finally I added three green sequins to finish off the card.

 Here is a close up of the light bulbs covered in Crystal Effects.
 And here is the black sparkle embossed sentiment.  I am having a problem with the embossing powder rubbing off.  I used Versamark, which has always worked well for me before.  Has anyone else ever had this problem, and if so, what did you do to fix it?
 This was the 4 x 8 photo collage I used last year.  I really love the new photo cards where you can include snippets of your family or what you did last year plus include a personal message.
 And finally, to proved I made my quota this month, here are all five cards.

Have a good day!  Amy

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Mind's Eye Chalkboard Studio

Hello!  We got a new line at work (new to us, but probably about a year old since it's debut)  by My Mind's Eye called 'Chalk Studio'.  We needed some samples to help the line sell, so I created some cards using the paper pad, sticker pad, and two different sets of embellishments.  This is what I came up with:

All the paper in every card is from the Basics Paper Pad. I love all the muted colors and patterns in this line.   The sentiments are all stickers from the Sticker Pad.  The chipboard button and banners are from 'Eighteen Buttons',  and the enamel  dots and twine are also from the same collection.  I used a MFT die to create the grey flag behind the sentiment.  I scored it and folded it to get the look you see below.  I put a paper doily from Wilton, behind the sentiment.

 My next card uses a sketch from MFT (MFTGUEST0712).
 Here's a close up of these fun embellishments.

 My third card uses a Deconstructed Sketch (112).

 Card Patterns Sketch 131 was the inspiration for this card:

 And finally, another Deconstructed Sketch (94).

I never really created cards using papers and embellishments all from the same line.  I don't know why, because it makes card making really easy when everything is perfectly coordinated for you.  

Have a great day!  Amy

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fashion Over Fifty: What to wear with Red Pants?

Hello!  Welcome to this week's Fashion Over Fifty post.  Have you been seeing red pants and red pant suits all over the place like I have?  I've been on the fence about wearing red because I was worried it might be too bright of a color for my taste and/or I'd be a walking billboard for the Red Hat Society.   I'm not too fond of red pant suits, because I just feel wearing red head to toe is just too overwhelming;  however, I do like red pants.  That being said,  I was browsing in Old Navy the other day and saw these cute red ponte roma knit pants and decided to try them on.  I really liked the thick knit material and thought they were very comfortable and would work for the upcoming transition to spring, and the spring season too.  But then I thought, what do you wear with red pants?  So I searched Pinterest and found the three most common colors worn with red pants were white, blue, and tan.  If you can think of any other color that would work with red pants, I'd love to hear from you because I need to think of more ways to wear these fun pants.  For now, this is what I came up with:

 I wore a simple sleeveless button down white blouse with a white tank underneath.  I topped the white shirt with a camel covered boyfriend cardigan from a.n.a.  For jewelry, I wore a white and gold statement necklace from Stitchfix and gold bangles.

 On my feet I wore leopard flats from Target.
I was actually saving these pants for later in the winter when it warmed up a bit, but I have grown so tired of wearing black, brown, or grey everyday that I decided to wear them now.  I was really surprised how WARM they were.  The ponte roma knit is so thick that it really kept my legs warm.  Now I worry my pants might be too warm for Spring.  The leopard flats on the other hand, were impractical for this time of year.  I only had to make it from my house, to a car, to a parking lot, to a building, but with our Wisconsin weather no matter how hard I tried, my feet got covered in snow.  Back to the booties!

Here are some more fashion inspiration pictures from Pinterest of how other women style red pants.  Which one is your favorite?

 Have a great day!  Amy

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Another Hunter's Card

Hello!  Today I have a masculine card to show you.  I have a friend whose husband wears nothing but camouflage and owns an arsenal of guns, so when I asked what type of birthday card he would like, she replied 'Anything with a gun on it would make Louie happy!'.  So Louie, this card is for you!

I used a very simple sketch by Splitcoaststampers (SC336) to keep the card masculine.  My main panel is real wood paper that I received from McMahon Five Designs.  If you've never seen this paper before you need to check it out.  It is real neat and different and you can even put it through a die cutting machine and make very interesting embellishments.

 I stamped an evergreen bough on the hunter green panel using an old retired Stampin Up set.  My sentiment and embellishments are just three dimensional stickers from DCWV.  I believe the sentiment was meant to go above a picture of two guys on a scrapbook page, but I used it on a card because it was the only image of a gun I had, and I interpreted it as the gun IS Louie's hunting buddy.  Lol!
 Here is a picture of the two embellishment stickers I placed in the upper right corner.  I love the silhouettes and how they match my wood paper.
Have a great day!  Amy

Monday, February 17, 2014

Vintage Children's Cards

Hello!  I've been running low on Children's Birthday Cards, so I decided to make a few using vintage children images from Crafty Secrets 'Birthday Kids'.  Now I love vintage images.  They have a certain 'look' that you just can't find anymore.  However, I don't like to use them the way most stampers do.  Most paper crafters create shabby chic or old fashioned cards with vintage images, using lots of lace, trim, antique papers, and tons and tons of detail and layers.  As pretty as that look is, I prefer using the interesting contrast of using vintage images with modern papers and embellishments, and a more clean and simple look.  Here are my examples:

For my first card I used a WMSC79 sketch.  The present is cut out and popped up on dimensionals.  The paper in all five cards is from DCWV 'Celebration Stack'.  The embellishments are from K & Co.

 My second card using a Splitcoaststampers sketch (SC360)  I covered the balloon with Crystal Effects.  The boy image was cute out and popped up on dimensionals to overhang the circular frame.  The postage stamp yellow edge was cut with an MFT die.

 For my third card, I used another Splitcoaststamper sketch (SC370).  The cake and all the candles were meticulously cut out to fit the frame.  I put Stickles on the candle flames.
 For my next card I used the same sketch as I did in my first card.  The numbers are designer paper from the same DCWV stack.  I just added the epoxy K & Co sticker above the paper.

 And finally, I created my last card the same way as I did my third card.  I just used different papers and a different image.

I just love these sweet vintage children images.  Don't you?

Have a great day!  Amy