Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween Little Monsters!

Happy Halloween everyone!  I don't have a costume to show you as I will not be doing anything for Halloween but I do have some cards to share.  I made them for my children and sent them along with some fall treats and a little toy for Alethea.

This is the card I made for my daughter, son-in-law, and their new baby girl.  Notice there are THREE little monsters?

These are old vintage Halloween images by Crafty Secrets.

I stamped the main image on a circular panel and then popped it up o dimensionals.  I then stamped the sentiment on the main panel, and added the "Little Monsters" sentiments on separate pieces of hand cut card stock.

A little stamped bat in the corner rounded out the card.  I used fall patterned paper as an accent and added just a touch of olive green ribbon.

My next card I made for my son.  I used Halloween images from the same Crafty Secrets set.

The "Boo To You" sentiment was stamped in purple ink then hand cut, and popped up on dimensionals.  The main image panel is also popped up.

The black cat, spider, and spider web were all stamped directly on the main image panel in black ink. I colored the spider in just a little bit.

I had some fun spider web designer paper that I added to the edge of the card for more interest.

And here are my "Little Monsters"  all dressed up for a Halloween Party.  Ashley and Alethea are both dressed up as ballerinas and  Jason is the ballet orchestra conductor.

My son Jordan also went to this same party, but they did not send me a picture of him.  I was told he dressed up as Home Improvement guy.  Ha-ha!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Statement Sleeves

Have any of you gone shopping recently and wondered "What's up with all the weird sleeves?" 🤣  Seriously, my girlfriend and I took a little shopping trip last week and it seemed every single garment had an unusual sleeve design.  Trying to find a top or dress with a normal sleeve is about as difficult as trying to find a pair of jeans without holes in them!  :)

Whatever your thoughts about statement sleeves, they are definitely trending.  I must admit, I have had a hard time with this trend because my arms are big enough and the last thing I want is more material there to draw even more attention to them.  Statement sleeves are something I love to see on everyone else, but me, not so much.  But then I feel that way with just about every fashion trend.  We are always our own worst critics.

Nevertheless, with most trends, I eventually find a style I can work with and this pretty dress from Francesca's was my answer!

The sleeves are on the loose side and the material is thin, so it doesn't add a lot of extra bulk to my arm.

 And isn't the embroidery on the sleeve just gorgeous?

For jewelry, I chose a red and gold multi strand necklace to echo the colors in the embroidery on the sleeve.  But I really didn't like the way the necklace looked with this dress.  I think I tried just about every necklace in my collection with this dress, and I wasn't happy with any of them.  I would love some some suggestions if anyone has any.

I also wore a gold bracelet to coordinate with the gold in the necklace.

And I carried my usual burgundy handbag because it just seems to go with all my fall outfits.

I bought this dress a couple of months ago when Francesca's had their amazing "$20.00 for anything in the store if purchased in increments of two" sale.  I know, what a deal, eh?  I signed up for their emails so if they ever have an amazing sale like this again,  I'm ready!

I wore my old Over-The-Knee Boots that I purchased last year from Famous Footwear.  They are by Steve Madden.  These boots have a shorter shaft, so if your still on the fence about this style of boot, this might be a good choice till you get more comfortable wearing OTK boots.  However, be aware that the shorter the shaft, the more likely the boot is to slip down.

The boots have a buckle in back and on the front.  If you are in the market for an OTK boot look for boots that tie in back instead of a buckle.  They tend to stay up better because you can tighten them as much as you need to.

 This dress has a very low back, which I am actually uncomfortable with.  Hubby of course loves the open back.  It also has a black strap going across the top of the back.  You can kind of see it in the picture below.  My hair is covering it a bit.

I really like the looser fit of this dress.  A lot of jersey knit dresses can be very clingy, which I don't like.  It is a thin material, and although I bought it for fall/winter, I think it would work better in the spring/summer in my climate.  I purchased a burgundy sweater vest after I took these photos and I'm anxious to try it with this dress.  I think it will cover up the open back and make the dress a little warmer so I can wear it during the colder months of the year too.  

So what about you?  Have you purchased anything with statement sleeves yet or are you still on the fence?  I'd love to hear from you!

Unfortunately, this dress is no longer available on-line but you might still be able to buy it in your local Francesca's store.  I still saw it hanging on the rack in my local Francesca's last week.  They also have lots of other fabulous dresses with statement sleeves on their website.  Here are a few I have my eye on!

This gorgeous teal dress I tried on in the store but I didn't buy it because it was really clingy on me.  However, now I regret not trying it on in a larger size, because I really love it and maybe a larger size would not have been so clingy.  Oh well, I'll keep an eye on it in case it ever goes on sale.

I love this wrap dress.  The pattern is perfect for fall and the sleeve detail is loose and thin so I think it would work for my body shape.

I love this dress, but I decided to stop buying anything with cut-out shoulders because I don't think they are flattering on me.  Another style that I love on everyone else but not on me!  But isn't the color and print so pretty?

This cute LBD has two trends:  criss-cross straps and statement sleeves!  So pretty!

A lot of Francesca dresses are on the short side.  Keep in mind you can also wear them as long tunics if you think they are too short.

This pretty fall floral dress has a lovely bell sleeve with a keyhole opening at the chest.  

All these dresses can be found on the Francesca's Website!  Which one is your favorite?

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Garden In Fall

It's been awhile since I have done a garden post.  My last one was The Early August Garden when the garden was in full bloom and gorgeous!  Then I went on vacation, and all the bees and Asian beetles arrived, and I pretty much stopped working in the garden.  My least favorite time to work in the garden is late summer/early fall because the hornets/bees/Asian beetles make it miserable.  So I usually take a break (with the exception of watering), and come back to tidy up after the first frost.

Even though it snowed on Friday, we still haven't had a killing frost yet;  although the blooms have faded, there is still a lot of color in my garden.

The brown stems you see in the picture above is what is left of my Black Eyed Susans.  I was going to cut them down, but then I noticed the gold finches enjoying the seed,  and I didn't have the heart.  I will wait a few more weeks yet.

Almost all of my bushes have gorgeous, gorgeous berries on them, making up for the lack of flower color.

The bush below is a highlight in my garden for it provides four seasons of interest:  yellow flowers in spring, bright chartreuse foliage in summer, red foliage in the fall (not there yet!), and red berries in the winter.  The birds love to nest inside of it and eat the berries all winter long.

Here is a close up of the bright red berries on this bush.

This garden has a gorgeous river view in the background that can be seen all summer long, but is even more visible when the trees drop their leaves.

In addition to the bush above, this garden also holds other bushes that provide lots of fall interest.

One of the bushes has these lovely purple berries on it.

And the other is a Vibernum that produces these lovely pink flowers in the fall.

My southern retaining wall garden doesn't look anything like it did in early August, but it's still pretty because the annuals, though faded, are still blooming!

I have so much sedum in my garden.  The bees and butterflies love it.  It's the easiest plant on the planet to grow!

This is the front path leading up to my house.  When I returned home from vacation my hanging baskets were dead because I didn't have anyone come over to water them.  I just popped the dead plants out and replaced them with mums and they have been blooming beautifully ever since.

  Most of the trees in my yard have lost their leaves already, but I do have a few with a lot of color on them still;  like this Autumn Blaze Maple.

I have a Flowering Crab Apple Tree that is just dripping with red berries.  It is so heavy with berries that the branches are literally bending over.

And my husband and I were so surprised to spot these berries on our Star Magnolia tree for the first time since we planted it.

Another garden surprise was seeing one of our lilac bushes turn this beautiful yellow.  That has never happened before.

And finally, I wanted to show you a few pictures I took in Mid-August that I never got a chance to share.

I have a deep shade garden along my fence line where it can be difficult to grow anything.  But these unusual Cimicifuga plants seem to like it there.

And in late summer, this is what my garden pond looked like.  This is the one spot I still let the phlox grow.  I've been steadily removing it from most of my other gardens because it reseeds everywhere and gets mildew on it's leaves.  But in this sunny spot it does quite well, and it's a small garden, so I'm able to keep a handle on the reseeding problem.

A lot of you have this plant in your garden.  It's called Magic Lily because in the spring it produces thick green leaves, which then die back and disappear, but in the fall, these pretty flowers magically appear!

And finally, I wanted to show you what my garden looked like during the solar eclipse.  The lighting was so unusual!

And that will probably be the end of the garden posts for the year!  Although you always see bits and pieces of my garden when I do fashion photo shoots in my yard.  I will also do a winter garden post when we get a pretty snowfall.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Friday, October 27, 2017

How To Wear A Long Cardigan

Long cardigans (or dusters) have been trending for a few seasons now and by the looks of what I'm seeing in the stores and in Blog Land they are not going anywhere soon.  My favorite time of the year to wear long cardigans is in the fall when I don't need to wear a winter coat.  In the fall I don't have to worry about the cardigan hanging past the length of the winter coat, because I can go coat-less.  You gals who live in warmer climates don't have to worry about that and can wear long cardigans all winter long!

For today's look, I paired my long cardigan with skinny jeans, a black sleeveless shirt, black shoes and bag, and a leopard print scarf.

Everything I'm wearing is old except the black hand bag.

For jewelry, I chose a multi-colored long beaded necklace and a gold/black bracelet. 

I always wear a necklace under my scarves in case I get warm and need to remove the scarf.  I don't like to be accessory-less around the neckline.

This photo shows the necklace for you.  

And this photo shows the bracelet.

I purchased the Liz Claiborne Elizabeth Tote Bag from JCPenney.

I wore black suede booties to coordinate with all the other black in my outfit.

Would you believe I specifically designed this outfit for a flu shot I was getting this day?  Yup!  I even plan my outfits for flu shots. 🙂😁  I did go shopping for the day too,  so it's not like I got all dressed up just for a shot.  But, I did want the ease of exposing my shoulder for the shot, so I wanted to wear a sleeveless shirt.  The cardigan was super easy to slip off to receive the shot.

Because of the length, long cardigans can sometimes be difficult to style.  Especially if you need to wear a winter coat as I explained above.  I tend to use my cardigans mostly as lightweight jackets.  Here are some other ways I styled this same burgundy cardigan over the years:

With A Dress
Original Post
With Leggings and Tall Boots

Original Post
With Bermuda Shorts
Original Post
With A White Tank and Straight Leg Jeans
Original Post

What about you?  Did you buy any new long cardigans this season?  How do you tend to style/wear them?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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