[inspiration alley] something to tie dye for.

If you were a child of the 90′s, you’ll notice there’s been a recent shift in emerging patterns with print — something that really takes you back to the carefree days of your childhood, the field days where you’d be out playing kickball and foursquare against the other grades, and reading under the covers until 3am every night during the summers. And if you were stuck indoors, arts and crafts were the only way to keep from going nuts. Enter, the messy but awe-inducing world of tie dye.

clarissa explains it all tie dye

can a tshirt be mesmerizing? / styleblazer

While the 90′s seemed to be a technicolor explosion for the tie dye trend, the revival its experiencing these days is much tamer, almost diluted down from its juvenile days as a rainbow sprouting from the center of Hanes t-shirt. Patterns are being manipulated with more traditional methods — such as shibori from Japan, which uses different binding techniques to create more structured patterns with indigo dye — or taken to extremes with an acid wash to up the contrast levels.

collage shibori hwtf

sample of shibori by honestlywtf

We’re no longer looking at kitschy camp t-shirts blasted with neon; high fashion is taking notice. Resort 2015 saw tie-dye patterning integrated into full-collections, remaining cool and collected while utilizing the whirlwind pattern in new ways. These pieces drew attention in the most positive way — who knew tie dye could be elevated to the runway? Check out style.com’s Resort 2015 picks of this faux-print here.

collage dye 3

bottega veneta maxi dress / fausto puglisi jacket and skirt

Into the mix of a more structured tie-dye are the limitations placed upon the color palette in use — specifically, the monochrome trend is making its way into the otherwise psychedelic patterning, and fabric is being exposed to dye in single color schemes to keep the overall look minimal but interesting. The various folds and resulting depths of color (or lack of) attract the eye to what appears as a pattern without deviating from the main scheme.

collage freepeople tie dye

black with peeks of beige / freepeople

rodarte skirt stylecom

soothing tones / rodarte

shibori skirt stylecom

shibori skirt and cooling top / tommy ton

bosworth dress

bosworth in faded blues / peter som

I think a tie dyed piece would add a unique spin to an ensemble, especially when mixed with other monochromatic prints. And considering how many print pieces I have (I don’t know how that happened, promise), I think have an idea of which directions this project will take.

I’ve got bottles of dye and fabric just waiting to be folded/soaked/rinsed/revealed!

- Nita

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

[inspiration alley] where we find the starry night.

It seems as though the first day of the first month of this year was ONLY yesterday — yet, here we are, ready to celebrate the 4th of July. I could sing the same song everyone else seems to be, i.e. WHEREDIDTHETIMEGO? Frankly, I know where the time went.

Rather than bombard the internet/youz with some more bandanna paisley print or flags a la Americana, I’m going to look up… for my July 4th inspiration. You CAN show your patriotism without going full on RWB, beer in one hand and firecrackers in the other.

Well, let’s just leave the explosives out of this.

star print givenchy scarf

givenchy and a box of crayolas / net-a-porter

Granted, the star print has been around for awhile, but that doesn’t mean it can’t make a come-back or find its own snug spot in your wardrobe. It’s an easily wearable print without being kitschy or cliched (even on July 4th). Usually in monochrome, its an uncomplicated repetition in shape that plays well with others (see Breton stripes below) and doesn’t find itself being trendy for the sake of it.

The normal and expected version of a print is an ‘all over’ version, uniformly distributed across the fabric landscape so as to not disturb the eye.

Fullscreen capture 732014 25659 PM.bmp

taking it literally. / modcloth

sporty star dress asos

sport-side / asos

collage starry comets

shooting stars / modcloth

Even though the ‘stars’ on the dress above are a departure from the usual, its appearance is still intriguing, easy to wear, and the retro-but-quirky cut of the dress makes it BBQ AND office appropriate.

If an all-over print causes you to tremble (not in delight), then a handful of the celestial objects printed minimally would do the trick. But be weary of placement — no one wants star boobs.

mango star cropped sweater

star cropped sweater / mango

Fullscreen capture 732014 35228 PM.bmp

calling lisa frank / asos

Even an accent, such as an elbow patch in the star shape, gives a nod to the trend without being overwhelming. And mixing the irregular shape of the patch with the clean cut stripes = no flags given here.

collage asos star sweater

star elbow patch, why not? / asos

If you’re still not convinced, accessorize and peep the stars on your feet instead. Less distracting, still comfortable, shoes with studded or plastered stars make for a great conversation starter/distraction.

Fullscreen capture 732014 31623 PM.bmp

studded with variety / asos

Fullscreen capture 732014 31756 PM.bmp

patriotism is in the name / keds

Didja notice how easily all of the above can be replicated? There’s another project in the works…

Have a happy (and SAFE) 4th, y’all.

Don’t lose any digits, now.

-Nita

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

[the DIY Files] painted summer fringe necklace.

Like many of the 20-something American women out there, I have a disease called ‘I Can Make That’-tis. Even though my skill sets may be nowhere in the same ballpark as what’s needed to make something I can more-easily buy… I would much rather make it. It REALLY becomes a problem when I see a high-end item, or a runway trend, and the wheels begin turning in my head. That’s where The DIY Files come to the rescue.

Hot Glue crisis… AVERTED!

IMG_8501

Whether you’re apt to believe the weather conditions outside (ugh, 150% humidity + alternating between the arctic blasts of the office and the hell-ish environment waiting outside), or you happened to recall this past Saturday as being the first ‘official’ day of summer and the solstice, there’s no two ways about it.

It’s getting hot in hurr. And the last thing I’m looking to do is pile heavy pieces of jewelry on when I’m fighting strangulation by sweat, so why not use some textile to make the statement I want?

IMG_8483

Time to get your fringe on!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6-9 inches of fringe trim in a light color (I used an ivory/off-white color here to add some warmth to the watercolors)
  • 2 flat silver cord ends
  • E6000 glue (recommended — trim tends to fray, this will keep the ends secure)
  • ruler or measuring tape
  • scissors
  • 10 in of chain (dependent on your length preference)
  • clasp/closure
  • watercolor paints or acrylic paints
  • paintbrush
  • cup of water
  • rag/scrap fabric to dry the brush
  • optional: scotch tape or painter’s tape

…and the instructions below!

1. Layout the fringe trim on a flat surface, placing the edge of the rule or measuring tape along its side. Making sure the trim is completely straight (no wrinkles or knots!), measure out the length you’ll want for the necklace. Add a quarter inch to the end you will be cutting, as this portion may start to fray and will have to be covered with the closure.

IMG_8485

2. Cut on the side where the fringe is sewn together — the ends will be rounded indicating folds — not the side with visible ends.

IMG_8487

3. Once you’ve cut the fringe trim, carefully dab a drop of the E6000 glue onto the cut end and let dry. Add a drop of the glue to the other end as well, just in case it begins to disassemble.

4. Using the cord closure, place each end of the trim in one closure and use pliers to clamp down on the metal. This will secure the trim inside the closure.

collage closures

5. Take a piece of painter’s tape or scotch tape and secure the end of any remnants you may have.

6. Using the paintbrush, drip some water into the colors you want to use. Since I’m going for a warmer tone — reds, violets, oranges, and some yellow — I put drops of water into the pans for these colors.

IMG_8484

IMG_8492

IMG_8493

*If you’re using acrylic paint, you’ll want to use several small pans/cups and water down the paint. With watercolor, using small drops is diluted enough to give a wash of color rather than completely changing the color of the fringe.

7. The bottom part of the trim should still be (mostly) secured together, so you want to begin near the bottom and work your way up towards the top.

8. In between colors, whether you’re blending them or changing it up, dip the brush into the cup of water and softly dab on the rag or fabric to soak up the excess water.

9. Let the fringe dry overnight OR lock in the color with a blow-dryer.

10. Take the chain and split into two pieces, approximately 5 in long each.

IMG_8494

11. Using the pliers, attach one end of one chain to the clasp or closure you’re using.

IMG_8497

12. Attach one end of the other chain to a jump ring.

collage connecting

13. Finally, using the pliers, attach the chains to the ends of the fringe, through the cord closures.

IMG_8498

14. Pull the bottom ends of the fringe of the trim apart slowly, so the pieces are able to move freely.

IMG_8499

15. Pair the necklace with an all-white or all-black outfit for it to really take front-and-center. Layer with silver thin chains, the fringe airy enough for the summer heat.

IMG_8500

 

It turned out even better than I had imagined — the colors are just muted enough to come across as worn and with a vintage-feel. Gah! Loving this piece!

IMG_8502

On another note, I’m working on a new addition to my shop, launching near July/August. One-of-a-kind textiles and materials that have a more raw feel, with hand-worked finishes… can’t wait!

- Nita

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

take 1: the Biggest Mural in Houston market

I’ve kept my shop and its wares somewhat private over the past two years — usually only pulling out my pieces when someone expresses interest — but otherwise my creations remain on etsy. Its difficult to explain why I love to create pieces that only I’ll enjoy, and yet, I still do.

This past weekend, I attended the Biggest Mural in Houston as a jewelry vendor; the entirety of the event was a culmination of weeks’ prior of work put in by Sabastien Boileau into an 8000 square foot mural in Midtown. The event was held in partnership between the Texas-French Alliance for the Arts and the Midtown District, and benefit a children’s hospital mural project. In addition to my own booth, there were also other local artists and small businesses at the event, so it was a great way to see how a market like this would go about. You know, for the newbie here.

IMAG0120

oh hai.

Now, my booth set-up was kinda… eccentric. Random. “Organized chaos” maybe? Ok, truth be told I tried to rein in my spending and do as much of the prep-work myself (DIY-ing of course), so I had two objectives going into the market: first, I wanted to gauge people’s reactions in terms of my work. Second, I wanted to see what type of visual arrangement(s) would be better in terms of showcasing the pieces themselves.

IMAG0121

a better view of the table and things

Since I pull inspiration from different sources, it was difficult to

IMAG0129

IMAG0117

For the earrings and necklaces, I used two super cheap frames, removing the glass and instead placed a thick layer of felt for the surface. T-pins were used to attach the jewelry to the felt. I think for next time, I’m going to space out the pieces better and more evenly, as well as paint the frames themselves a more metallic color to provide a more stark contrast against the fabric.

IMAG0116

Yep, those hands in the middle with the bracelets are from a previous set of Halloween decorations — normally covered in blood and with the exposed bones being front and center — but here, for the family-friendly environment I covered them up with a plain canvas so the jewelry would stand out more.

To fill in the surface area of the table, I opened my books to a clean layout (plain text only) and laid out some of my pieces on the pages to give almost a ‘found’ quality. The pieces I create are supposed to serve a treasures, talismans, tokens of memories that can be worn today and tomorrow. Finally, I added touches of my own darker aesthetic with a few knick-knacks, i.e. my gargoyle bookends, skulls, and Clarence the Bone Man.

IMAG0131

IMAG0127

IMAG0130

 

IMAG0124

IMAG0119

IMAG0116

1402354089866

Oh, and this dress form was PERFECT for the body chains and longer necklaces I had made. In fact, the first sale I made (yes, there were SALES!) was the Annika body chain right off this dress form, and the customer wore it for the rest of the day. She was seriously excited about it — which made the 100 degree heat, the multiple nights of no sleep, and the impending cold (yep, sick again) totally worth it. Seeing someone become so enamored with a piece you create with your own hands is the greatest feeling.

As with any new experiences, there are definitely some lessons I learned, the most important being don’t crowd the single table you happen to have! ARGH. It also didn’t help that I had about 70% of my pieces still sitting in boxes because of the lack of space. I know, I know, that’s what happens when you procrastinate and are unprepared. I DID, however, pass out a lot of business cards, made some promising contacts with clients who wanted their own jewelry re-worked, and was able to get some emails for an E-Newsletter*. While it’ll take more than one market for me to get used to the idea of people LIKING my pieces, hopefully there’ll be more markets in the coming months.

Off to get working on those two pesky projects from The DIY Files…

- Nita

*So, there are some new pieces, a brand spankin’ new COLLECTION, and quite a few other things in the works for findyouruncommon. If you want to be a part of the cool kids and see special sneak peeks, get first access to limited pieces, and get special discounts, sign up by sending me an email at fyudesigns [at] gmail.com with “e newsletter” in the subject line. No spam, no garbage, none of that, Scout’s honor!

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

[inspiration alley] alternate reality fringe theory.

Aye aye aye — its been way too quiet around here! Seriously, I am really sorry for the complete lack of any presence on here… I’m alive, and kickin’, but unfortunately so damn busy this month that I don’t know where May went! The original project I started on with my embroidery inspiration is turning out to be… more complicated (read: its now officially an undertaking)… than I had expected. So, here’s some more imagery to dream up for my next project! This time, it’ll have to be a bit on the simpler side. Live and learn.

Its (almost) summer, and what’s more summer than the lines of fringe hanging off sleeves and skirts? The wind blowing through the shattered pieces of fabric or string, cutting into your silhouette, whipping around the fragments. While ‘fringe’ can venture into a more western or flapper territory, the accompanying fabric with the fringe helps to evoke a sense of free-spirited and adventurous style, a gypsy traveling free from all constraints. Add in splashes of color in bold prints, and you have a piece that really speaks — where you’ve been, where you’re going next. Your fringe piece has the potential to become a reminder of your travels, your persona, even a part of a memory.

Personally, I’ve never been one to delve into a fringe-embellished piece… but there’s always a first time for everything, right?

[1] dark romance, a la florals

free people kimono

floral kimono / freepeople

[2] a diluted version of ‘ethnic’ print

a fashion love affair fringe kimono

lightly printed / afashionloveaffair

[3] gauzy and monochrome

collage coral kimono

rory lace kimono / freepeople

[4] who said grunge couldn’t take part?

Fullscreen capture 5292014 122949 AM.bmp

fringe goes grunge / asos

[5] the side acts, accessorizing with fringe instead

collage fringe accessories

accessorize with these strands / asos

[6] fringe doesn’t always have to be made of textile

fringe cuff

metallicized / jeweletto

A few other projects are in the works — including finishing up the embroidery piece as well — but I’ll be back with my version of fringe theory! Seeing as to how its presence doesn’t have to fit one style or another, the piece will definitely have my voice, my insomniac hyperventilating voice. Ha!

- Nita

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

[inspiration alley] colored in stitches.

Who’s up for stitching with thread? You know, patterns and shapes coming together to make something quite dated fresh again?

Be forewarned, this isn’t your Grandma’s sewing circle.

Embroidery has been found to date as far back as the 5th century BC in China, where the colorful threads were used to create intricate art onto the fabric of rugs and tapestries alike; today, embroidery can be found as more than a decorative element for clothing alone. It has become functional as well, utilized in aspects such as logos and labeling. Hell, monograms were initially stitched with embroidery thread!

In terms of the millenial approach, embroidery has swung between two extremes: the overly embellished, and the simplified clean palette. It’s also become quite a staple in the ‘bohemian’ or ‘gypsy’ styled accessories department, appearing on bags/clutches to shoes, adorned additionally with coins and tassels.

If you’re wading into the shallow end of the color-stitching pool, you can start with a white base and add one color (at a time)… somewhat similar to the process of adding color into one’s wardrobe (ahem, kettle. black.).

embroidered blouse fashionloveaffair

white on white / afashionloveaffair

collage asos shoes

burst of unexpected color / asos

collage color on white

color on white / mango tunic / d.Ra dress

Fullscreen capture 5112014 125525 AM.bmp

flowering for days / freepeople

embroidered tunic zara 1

inverted / zara

If we swing over to the other side of the spectrum, embroidery does not act solo; rather, there is a play of textures and textiles that enhances the stitching.

Valentino’s designs aren’t ones to hold back, as is evident in the embellished dress below. Here, the embroidery is placed like panes of a stained-glass window on battle-armor. Gorgeous battle-armor, that is.

collage valentino

lace + ornate embroidery / valentino

For a more nomadic bohemian vibe, we see the employ of bright coloration with oxidized silver or mirrors to give an an ethnic appeal, as if the item has absorbed time and space.

gypsy bag revolve

goa crossbody / revolve clothing

 

indian emb pillow

indian cushion pillow / newagemerchants

I’m hoping these images of using embroidery to really enhance the aesthetic of the piece translate well in my next project from The DIY Files… something that’s both usable AND really adds a bit of my own take of embroidery.

-Nita

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

[The DIY Files] the watchful eyes clutch bag.

Like many of the 20-something American women out there, I have a disease called ‘I Can Make That’-tis. Even though my skill sets may be nowhere in the same ballpark as what’s needed to make something I can more-easily buy… I would much rather make it. It REALLY becomes a problem when I see a high-end item, or a runway trend, and the wheels begin turning in my head. That’s where The DIY Files come to the rescue.

Hot Glue crisis… AVERTED!

On a random day some weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, when I came upon a beautiful cobalt blue hoodie unlike any I had seen before. Probably because it was covered.. in spikes and EYES. I could go with the spikes too, but EYES. How could I resist the eyes?!

collage studmuffin

studymuffin nyc / nylon magazine

Since I’ll be going to Texas Frightmare this weekend, I figured I would need something to carry autographs and souvenirs in… so why not make an oversized clutch bag? I’m adding a chain to be able to wear the clutch as a cross-body, but for someone choosing to carry the bag rather than wearing it, I’ve gotten the handy-dandy steps below! The bag will get people to do a double-take!

Materials:

  • plain zipper bag — I picked white so the background of the eyes would somewhat blend in.
  • plastic googly eyes — you can find these in the craft aisle at Wal-Mart, Target, or even Hobby Lobby. Go with a variety of sizes or even a single size that you can line-up uniformly.
  • *scissors or a fabric hole puncher — this is for punching out the holes for the strap* and for cutting the thread.
  • bright red embroidery thread + needle — for the ‘veins’ on the background, adding a pop of color.
  • scrap cardstock — to use as surface to host the glue while you’re adding the eyes.

collage supplies 1

collage supplies 2

Ready for the steps? Onwards!

1. Take any excess packaging off the zipper bag, cutting off any pieces which will alter the clean surface of the bag.

IMG_8121

2. Measure the embroidery thread through the eye (haha!) of the needle and cut to the length you prefer; the longer the thread, the more ‘vein’ lines you’ll be able to weave.

IMG_8124

3. Push the needle through the surface of the bag from inside the bag. It may help if you mark the point of exit and entry on the inside surface of the bag.

4. Weave and sew the lines on the bag as to your preference.

collage sewing 1

5. Knot and close up the thread to finish.

6. Squeeze a small amount of the E6000 glue onto the scrap cardstock, as it has a tendency to dry out quickly.

7. Dab a small amount of the glue onto the back of a larger sized googly eye and press down onto the outer surface of the bag.

IMG_8128

8. Repeat with the remaining larger eyes.

collage eyes 1

9. Add glue as needed to finish attaching the remaining eyes — make sure to cover the front and back of the bag!

IMG_8135

10. OPTIONAL: Using the fabric puncher, punch out a hole on each side of the bag where you want to attach the straps. Grommets will help keep the fabric from stretching and fraying.

Now go let your freak flag fly!

IMG_8137

IMG_8139

IMG_8140

IMG_8141

surprise! #girlboss coming soon!

I think I’m going to go back and add more red lines — er, ‘veins’ — next week, since this weekend will be filled with Tobin Bell, John Kassir, Corey Taylor, and Doug Bradley… some of the GREATS in Horror!

Until next time…

-Nita

Tagged , , , , , , ,

how.what.wear. an ode to faux-chella.

Now that we’re well into Spring (for the most part, the weather is resembling summer as well), the whirlwind of the music festival season is easily upon us. Honestly, I would have thought the opening of the season by SXSW would have garnered more attention (Panels! Secret shows!); however, the spotlight quickly shifted from SXSW to Coachella, as easily evidenced by the massive celebrity and brand-sponsored presence in Indio, California.

festival fashion meme 1

sounds about right. / whowhatwear

I don’t want to count how many emails and social media posts have clogged up my inbox and internet feeds, but its difficult for someone like myself — who’s normal attire to a concert is ratty jeans + baggy tshirt + maybe a hoodie + and Chucks — to imagine dressing up for a music fest. Am I comfortable? YES. Able to mosh-the-fuck-up? Hell YES. But for that desert destination, my appearance would easily fade into the background. Or be met with odd glances because clearly I had missed the memo for appropriate Coachella attire. Where mah bootie shorts at?!

As much as I’d like to be completely untouched by the desire to go… I can’t help but daydream about seeing some awesome bands out in the middle of nowhere, and maybe channel my own vision of the festival by incorporating the get-ups seen in the desert into something more appropriate for myself.

[1] kimono-sabe

embroidered kimono jacket / becauseimaddicted

This Eastern-origin cover-up has been having something of a moment over the past few seasons, popping up easily during the more mild months in lieu of the usual blazer or cardigan. But instead of a sheer fabrication, something with more weight comes in handy during the cooler evenings (or even at the freezing office), and a print or embroidery pattern evokes colorful summer nights in the desert. But how to incorporate an obviously less formal piece into your work wardrobe? Let’s try…

collage kimono 1

kimono + straight leg pants

collage kimono 2

flowy top + bold heel

an embroidered or geometric patterned long kimono jacket [belize kimono / wasteland]

slim fit pants in a light wash or faded pattern [cotton pants / hm.com]

watercolor flowy tank top [double-layer tank / hm.com]

boldly colored heel to dress up the ensemble [vernon / justfab]

◊◊◊

[2] florally flowing

emmy rossum floral crown eonline

florals on top / emmy rossum, eonline

Just because its a festival in the desert and everyone is wearing flower crowns doesn’t mean you have to as well. And Emmy Rossum’s look here doesn’t let the crown get all of the glory; the denim and maxi are part of the complete look rather than by-standers. For a weekend version of this, you could…

collage weekend skirt

balanced casual

take a loose column printed maxi skirt [column skirt / freepeople]

add a fitted tee that looks ‘lived in’ [vintage soft tee / oldnavy]

and Chuck the heels for some sneaker action instead [converse one star / target]

Fullscreen capture 4302014 120110 AM.bmp

oh, and try some demure flowers on a ribbon, rather than a full-on crown, woven into your hair [flower chain / urbanoutfitters]

◊◊◊

[3] get shifty

nasty gal shift dress

bright dawn dress / nasty gal

Mod is now modern thanks to the sneaking presence of the 60′s universally-flattering silhouette (see: F14 runways, ahem). The shift is simple, and whether you’re busty or hippy, you can dress it up and down in a number of ways. Although it would be easy to say “shift dress + blazer = perfect for work!” that would also be the obvious route. Especially since the shifts seen at Coachella were detailed with fringe hems and pastel coloring, why hide it under a blazer? Instead, take this sometimes-basic dress and add some unexpected elements, like:

collage get shifty

a shift dress in a diluted color, such as the pastel blush here [bright dawn dress / nastygal]

tuxedo vest in off-white [fashion vest in cream / target]

brown woven flats with a menswear flair [leather booties / f21]

◊◊◊

[4] prairie queen

If we’re talking a desert festival with a hippie twist, there’s bound to be an abundance of lace, crocheting, and ruffles… sugar, and spice and everything nice. Obviously, one can’t waltz around the city of Houston in a long-ass white maxi dress and expect to be taken seriously. No, really, you’ll be mistaken for a panhandler. But if I can dial down the boho princess and add some refinement, the ‘prairie queen’ look can be adapted for the rest of us normal folks.

lace crochet wwd

crochet + lace / wwd

Re-imagine the flirty dress and boots combination with:

collage prairie queen

a long off-white or white crocheted maxi dress or skirt [far from here maxi / threadsence]

button-down light-washed denim shirt, can be worn over or under [faded denim bf shirt / gap]

neutral bootie, cut-outs to give breathing room [adriane cut-out bootie / shoedazzle]

layer on the long necklaces + thin bangles in antique silver

◊◊◊

So now that ‘the’ fashionable festival has come and gone, what can we look forward to seeing at Lolla, Warped Tour, or even Austin City Limits? Perhaps styles we can appreciate and emulate realistically — but with a love of music which remains center stage.

A small deviation from the next DIY Files Project: since I’m headed to Texas Frightmare this weekend, I decided to whip up something I’d been considering making for a few weeks now. It’ll be horror-related, but even the queasiest of folks won’t be able to look away! Ha!

Oh, yeah…night.

-Nita

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

[The DIY Files] daisy says simple choker.

Like many of the 20-something American women out there, I have a disease called ‘I Can Make That’-tis. Even though my skill sets may be nowhere in the same ballpark as what’s needed to make something I can more-easily buy… I would much rather make it. It REALLY becomes a problem when I see a high-end item, or a runway trend, and the wheels begin turning in my head. That’s where The DIY Files come to the rescue.

Hot Glue crisis… AVERTED!

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past week, you’re sure to have been bombarded with music festival news; from Coachella’s impending arrival to the Lolla line-up being announced, festival season has begun. Hell, my inbox/Facebook/Instagram feed say so. It’s bad enough that packing for Coachella (or any other multi-day concerts) can lend to over or under-packing, so why not put together accessories that’ll work or the weekend, or two? Here’s a quick and super easy project to wear regardless of your music festival agenda this summer…

IMG_8011

Materials:

  • velvet or black ribbon – no more than 1/2 in wide, it’ll work best as a choker and still be comfortable.
  • flower charm(s)
  • ribbon clamps – these can be found in the jump rings and findings section at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.
  • a pair of needle nose pliers
  • a clasp for closing, obviously.
  • seven jump rings
  • scissors
  • matches or a lighter (a little pyromania never hurt nobody…)
  • measuring tape (optional)
  • 10 minutes. That’s it.

collage supplies 2 collage supplies

1. Take the measuring tape and use it to circle around the circumference of your throat, making sure the tape is comfortably snug around your throat.

2. Measure the same length of ribbon as the measuring tape.

3. Taking the lighter or matches, lightly touch the flame to each end and burn the threads shut so you don’t end up with a steadily loosening ribbon.

4. With a single ribbon clamp, place it over the end of the ribbon and push down the two sides to meet with your fingers. Using the pliers, firmly press down both sides and secure the end of the ribbon.

IMG_8029

5. Open a jump ring and slide through each of the clamps.

6. Join together the other five jump rings and attach to one end of the ribbon.

IMG_8030

7. Attach the closure clasp to the other end of the ribbon. Try the choker on for size!

8. Using one of the jump rings, loop it through the flower charm, then slide the ribbon through it as well. Close the ends of the ring tightly with the pliers.

IMG_8031

9. I think you still have about 3 minutes left, so model your new choker… or, you know, pair it with your beat-up tee/lacy blouse/plaid button-down…

10. DONE!

IMG_8032

 

IMG_8027

IMG_8014

 

I know, all this Coachella-talk is getting me… green. Curse you, work. Maybe I’ll just have to channel the festival spirit in my cubicle some other way.

- Nita

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

[inspiration alley] all choked up.

Well, well, WELL. If we aren’t already through with a quarter of the year and already falling behind on resolutions and stuff?! No? Just me?

:insert facepalm here:

So while I haven’t been able to post much lately (argh, 2 weeks between posts, whatthewhat!), the slew of projects is slowly and unfortunately building up. Pretty soon, I’ll have too many DIYs!

(is that even a real thing?)

None the less, considering how incredibly short on time I am this week, and since we’re only 2 weeks out from the start of the ‘Music Festival Season’ — ahem, Coachella — it serves best that maybe this be a quick, simple, and useful project. Oh yeah, and you can take it with you if you’re a lucky sonofabeyotch and going to the festival this year.

The 90s haven’t left us yet, if street style or the runways have anything to say about it, and nowhere is the decade more accessible than with one of the defining elements from that period: the choker. Whether ornately decorating the throat in luxe velvet and embellishment, or unmarred by any decoration at all, the choker necklace is making it’s own kind of comeback.

natalie portman the professional

a la natalie portman in ‘the professional’ 20 years ago

collage chanel s14

pearls re-imagined by chanel / spring 2014

Fullscreen capture 3302014 112041 PM.bmp

lesson in layering by the manrepeller, choker included

Something as simple as a choker necklace can be the antithesis of the statement necklace that’s dominated the neck game — ranging from the ‘henna’ variety to a singular metal curved to wear.

collage etsy chokers

daisy chain choker, ANTIapparel / velvet ribbon and charm, absolutemarket  / henna-fied, sictransitgloriaa / golden rivet, shophoyden

Designer Vanessa Mooney takes the minimalist route one step further in her boho-chic collections with the ‘Anarchy’ choker and the ‘Notorious’ neck cuff. The lack of any interruptions on the choker itself means layers is just that much easier.

anarchy gold choker vanessa mooney

total anarchist / vanessa mooney

notorious necklace vanessa mooney

so notorious / vanessa mooney

It’d be easy to run with just one of these elements, but with Coachella in less than two weeks, I’m thinking a more versatile choker is in order. Something that’ll keep both the gypsy and rock n’ roll vibe front and center.

Until next time…

- Nita

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 465 other followers

%d bloggers like this: