Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A shoe refashion

This weekend, I refashioned another pair of shoes. I started with some cream pumps that I'd gotten at the dollar-a-pound quite a while ago...I'd worn them once or twice, but cream wasn't proving a really wearable shoe color for me. Also, as they were fairly old, they were already scuffed and had some dark smudges on them. Worthy of a renovation!

So I grabbed some nail polish...

Covered the trim and soles with masking tape, and painted away with the tiny nail polish brush:

After some detail work and a couple of coats in a few places, I had pink shoes with cream trim:

I wore them yesterday with a black-and-white floral dress for a bold bit of color (no pictures, sorry!). Definitely a lot of fun!

And, for the IFB Challenge #2, a brief haiku:

Refashioning time:
Old cream shoes plus nail polish...
Presto! New pink heels!

What else? I've been keeping up with my goals for Me-Made June of wearing at least one refashioned or self-made piece every day, but I haven't really been documenting the process this time around. I'm also going through a major decluttering phase...am completely hooked on decluttering and organization and home design blogs right now! However, this desire to clean up and streamline my closet and my apartment doesn't play so well with my pack-rat/magpie/lover of collecting beautiful things tendencies. For example, I read the forum posts on Unclutterer about things people are giving away/trashing/donating/getting out of their homes, and I find myself both inspired to clean out more myself and wishing that I lived near their thrift store so I could pick myself up some of those rejected items!

So, last weekend, I worked on cleaning out the wardrobe where I store my dresses (of which I have a ridiculous number...my style has swung very heavily to thrifted dresses in the past few years). I wanted it to look like this, with a small assortment of my favorite carefully-chosen pieces:

However, while my wardrobe looked like that, my bed, covered in the rest of the contents of the wardrobe, looked like this:

Reorganized and after some dresses that just don't fit me/look good on me/end up getting worn were given to Goodwill, the closet looked like this (a major improvement from before):

And here's what I'm wearing today, now that it's finally back to summer in Boston (after a week of rain, clouds, and temperatures in the 60s)...cleaning out my closet has reminded me of some pieces that will work well this season!

Dress: thrifted. Tank top: Express. Shoes: Nordstrom, thrifted. Earrings: Me-made.

Hope everyone is having a good last week of June! Can't believe it's almost July...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Adventures

Hi everyone! Hope your summer has been going well, and that it feels like summer where you are. We had a couple of days over 90 degrees last week, and since then it's been back to 60 and raining. I've been keeping fairly busy both with work and with the rest of life. Since last time I posted (wow, almost a month ago?)...

I went to Oslo, Norway for a conference where I was presenting a paper with a friend from the Lab. Oslo is a really lovely city. I was there for a few days at the end of May, which was perfect...it'd started to get around 60 degrees during the day, the sun stayed up forever (we're talking still light at 10:30PM), and spring flowers were everywhere. I spent most of the time at the conference at the University of Oslo, but also had some time to wander around the city, see the amazing Vigeland Sculpture Park, get a tour of the City Hall, and see the evening changing of the flags by the palace.

On the first day I was in Oslo, I also met up with the amazing Anika! She's every bit as awesome and sweet as she seems on her blog (and, by the way, if you haven't visited her blog yet, you should go over there right now. I'll wait...) She showed me around some of Oslo and we had coffee over at the Opera House (the iceberg-like structure rising out of the water behind us). Thanks, Anika, for being such a great host and welcoming me to Norway!

A mural in the main room of the Oslo City Hall

I didn't know very much about Norway before the trip, so was really interesting to learn about the country's history and culture. It's only been about the last hundred years that Norway has been a completely independent country...before that, it was in "unions" with Sweden for most of the 19th century, and with Denmark for almost 500 years before that. So the Norwegians eventually gain their independence, and have to figure out/define for themselves what it means to be "Norwegian." Norway was also apparently a fairly poor country until the discovery of oil resources around 1970. So all of that contributes to some very interesting art and design throughout the city.

One of the many, many sculptures in the Vigeland Sculpture Park

This was definitely a great trip, and makes me want to do a lot more travel! (Though at least it's satisfied my resolution for this year of finding some way to make it back to Europe.)

I also started the Me-Made-June challenge, pledging to wear at least one handmade or refashioned garment/piece of jewelry every day in May. I'll post some pictures of a handful of outfits soon... I've been doing well with the challenge, and there have only been a couple of days when my handmade jewelry was the only me-made piece in the outfit.

And a few other random things...
--I've been running a bunch. A week ago, I ran over five miles for the first time, going all the way into Boston to see a friend's art piece at a festival. The run wasn't all in one stretch, but had a couple of breaks (including the stop in a CVS trying to find someone who knew where the street I was looking for might be...)
--A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a tremendous haul of yarn from someone on Freecyle who no longer needed it. (We're talking several large bags and boxes worth!) Now back to some serious crocheting/knitting!
--I've also been preparing for my best friend's wedding (!!!) this weekend. I'm one of her bridesmaids and just found out yesterday she'd like me to give a toast at the reception! (now have to figure out what to say...anyone have experience with this?) I'm really happy for her and looking forward to the wedding!
--I've been spending a fair amount of time with friends, including hosting a couple of fun dinner/cooking parties. The last one was cheese-themed (so...much...cheese), and tonight we're having a foods-from-childhood dinner.

How has summer been treating you?
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