Everyday Inspirations

 
 

~ fashion ~


head wrap
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{angie}
Not sure why, but whenever I think of head wraps they make me think of fall. But I discovered winter is really the best time for them! Between the wet weather and the dry air, my hair is anything but cooperative in the wintertime. Enter head wrap and suddenly a frizzy ponytail is covered by a cute woven wrap. Not only that, it's a fancy set of earmuffs as they keep your ears nice and toasty. And this one in winter white (which goes great with those snowlike accessories from this post) is great any time of year. Perfect for those bad-hair-day Mondays when it's icky out.

P.S. No I didn't pose my dog like this. She's just natural for the camera. She wishes she had a cute head wrap too.

 

~ fashion ~


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{ash}

This is going to sound totally silly, but during the holidays I always have this urge to add something winter-y to my outfit. I don't mean by throwing on a scarf of hat (though I do that). I mean that I want something on that reminds me of winter. I want to wear pieces that are sparkling, silver, delicate...  like snowflakes or icicles. THAT kind of winter-y.

I've found the best way to do this is by adding beautiful, simple accessories that remind me of snow. Paired with a simple sweater or tee (I love these pieces with ice blue or cream-colored tops), you'll feel effortlessly lovely.
 

~ day 10: fashion ~


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Guest Blogger: Susan Cannon
In the last few years, Susan, from FeliciaEvita.blogspot.com, has taken up making jewelry as a hobby. She loves it because not only is it fun to make beautiful stuff to wear, she also uses gems with energy and healing properties. Power bracelets, as they are called, make great gifts, especially as we head into the new year and people are choosing to make changes in their lives. Here is her step-by-step on how to make one or many as gifts for your friends. 

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Stone Power. Healing, soothing, energizing, invigorating, and promoting creativity. These among the qualities of semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, jasper, amethyst, and coral. And … it's easy to wear stone power on your wrist. Gorgeous stretchy stone bracelets take but a few minutes to make and will be a much loved Christmas gift for many on your list. No special equipment or tools are needed to complete.

Supplies
6 mm stone beads, available at your local craft store or online
seed beads
1 mm clear stretch beading cord
scissors or wire cutters

Since this type of construction is less secure than with a jeweler's clasp, don't use diamonds! Inexpensive semi-precious stone beads are available at your local craft store, often at a substantial discount if you hit sale day. I nearly always get my beads on sale, with a coupon, online, or at a gem show, so never paying full retail price.

Cut. Cut a length of elastic cord 4” longer than your wrist. This will give you plenty of slack for errors, which inevitably happen.

Design. Select the beads for your bracelet. You may want to add silver or gold colored spacer beads. Lay out on a design board (or … a kitchen cutting board works). A simple design is best, ie two small, one big, two small, one big, etc.

String. I like to build from the middle out so I always put the middle bead on first, then add more beads to the elastic at the left or right. Repeat the design until the bracelet is sufficiently long to tie and have reasonable “give” to be put on and removed. You may have to “test” a few times to get it just right.

Tie. There are several ways to attach the elastic cord. I like to tie a square knot or two (right over left and under, then left over right and under). You can also attach with a crimp bead.

Cut. Careful here! Cut the excess cord.

Secure. Add clear nail polish to the tie spot to ensure that the bracelet will stay intact.

Wear.  Beautiful!
 

~ day 3: fashion ~


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Little sleeping princess. What a doll!
Guest blogger: Mary Cook
Today's holiday do-it-yourself project comes from Mary Cook, a stay-at-home mom in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is mama to a beautiful baby girl who is about to turn one. This feminine flower can be made into a clip, headband, or brooch. It is so darling on her little girl, but I would totally wear the same headband! A perfect gift for any girly girl young or young at heart!

You will need:
8-10 squares of fabric, more if you use only very thin fabric
1 strip of synthetic fabric cut to about 2 -2.5” wide and 36-48” long. A heavy satin works well for this. Alternately you can use a matching pre-made headband.
A 2”x12” strip of organdy, tulle or other sheer fabric
1 alligator clip
Length of ribbon to cover alligator clip
Hot glue gun and glue
Lighter. The long nozzle type made for candles is easiest to use
Long taper candle and holder (optional)
Sopping wet sponge
Needle
Matching thread
Scissors
Sequins
Beads

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Step 1: Cut square of fabric. Start with squares of fabric in varying colors and textures. Cut the fabric 1-2” larger than you would like your finished flower to be. Make sure to use a combination of natural and synthetic fabrics because they react differently to fire. I like to use silk, satin, organdy, tulle or any other fabric that catches my eye.  An inexpensive way to get different fabrics is to look for scrap bags and your local fabric store. I was able to get 2 scrap bags of bridal fabric for $1.30 each and then added my own fabric choices to these.

Step 2: Cut the squares into circles. This can be done easily by folding a square in half diagonally, then in half again, and again one more time. Hold the triangle with the tip pointing downward and cut straight across. You can also cut a rounded shape to give your circle a bit of a flower petal edge. Don’t worry about making perfect circles. You will be burning the edges which can even (or uneven) them out... and hey, flower petals aren’t perfect circles are they?
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Step 3: Burn the edges. Before you begin burning please let me remind you that you are working with fire and it is very hot! (Really? Wow! Who would have thought?) You can burn your hands or your house if you are not careful. Some fabric will melt and take a while to catch fire, but some catch fire and burn FAST! Be prepared! Do this in a well ventilated area because scorched fabric is no fun to breathe. Since it is usually too windy to do this outside and have control over what I’m doing I stand over my stove or sink where I can drop the fabric if need be and it won’t hurt anything. I also lay down a sopping wet sponge to drop my fabric on to put out the flames.

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 I use a lighter for burning edges because it is easier to control, but I use an entire lighter for one flower. You could also try using a candle to keep your cost down. Start with a piece of synthetic fabric and hold the flame to the edge of the circle. Singe the entire circle. With a bit of practice you can make the edges curl up by getting the flame close, but not touching, and letting the fabric crinkle. Don’t worry about making the edges a perfect circle, the unevenness adds to the beauty. Next try a piece of silk. The sheer stuff burns REALLY fast so I usually dampen the entire circle so I can have a little bit of control in how it burns. Make some larger and some a little smaller to help with stacking

Step 4: Stack the flower. Once the edges of all the circles are burned, arrange and stack them how you like putting larger pieces in the bottom and a small piece on the top, then sew a little “X” in the middle to hold them together.
Step 5: Add the center. Take a piece of sheer fabric or tulle. In this example I used organdy. Cut a piece about 8-12” long and ¼- ½” smaller than your smallest circle. Fold this piece in ½” folds and cut both ends off in a “V” shape.  Unfold the strip. Thread a needle and tie the ends in a knot. Stitch a seam down the middle and then pull the fabric down the thread tight towards the knot. Put the needle through the center of the flower and pull it through. Cut the needle off the thread and tie a knot tight against the fabric so that it stays scrunched up.

With needle and thread start from the back side of the flower and go through the center. Place one sequin, then one bead over the needle and pull them down the thread towards the flower. Place one more bead over the needle and go back through the bead again in the same direction to make a loop around the bead. Take the needle back through the other bead and the sequin, and then back through the flower. Work the beads and sequin down tight against the flower, pull out all slack in the thread and then tie a knot on the back. If you like you can put a drop of fabric glue on the back of the flower to help secure the thread. It’s not necessary but if you’re not that confident in your sewing skills, by all means go for it.
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Step 6: Make the headband. If you are using a pre-made headband, you can skip ahead to the final step. Take the long strip of fabric. Using the same method as before singe the edges to seal them. Try to keep the melting and burning to a minimum for this piece so the edges will maintain flexibility and not snap and break when tied around the head.

Step 7: Attach it to a clip or pin. Take the alligator clip or pin and wrap the ribbon all the way around the clip, including the inside and the space covering the spring, then cut to fit. Hot glue the ribbon to the clip. After the glue is set Sew the top piece of the clip to the bottom of the flower. Clip the flower on to your headband or you can put it directly in your hair or even on a blouse or jacket.
 

~ fashion ~


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{angie}
I think the world agrees -- Skating with the Stars tonight was, well...painful. And not because of the falls in practice. As a figure skater for 19 years and a coach for seven, I will say that unlike dancing, skating requires a set of skills that takes years to hone before you can even begin to do anything remotely entertaining. Sorry ABC, not working for me. Not that the competitors didn't do well considering how long they have skated. They just couldn't do anything exciting enough for national television.

With skating on the mind and it being that time of year when people decide to grab those skates and head to the rink, I thought I'd give you some advice on what to wear skating that's both practical and looks fabulous. No, I'm not going to tell you to wear tights and a tiny rhinestone-encrusted dress (though I certainly won't judge...I do it all the time!)

Leggings are perfect for skating because they are comfortable and stretchy -- just what you need to be able to bend your knees and try a few daring moves. Pair that with a long sweater which will keep you warm and cushion your tushy on those falls. Don't be afraid to fall. The best life lesson from skating is when you fall, you get right back up and try it again. A cute scarf is great accessory because it will keep you toasty while you warm up, but can be taken off when you're hot. Yes, believe me, when you skate hard enough you will get hot. Next you'll need some gloves both to keep your hands warm and to protect them from ice burn when you fall. Finally, wear thin dress socks, not thick ones. Thin socks will protect you from blisters better because you don't have the added layer of fabric scratching and rubbing on your skin. 

Now go get yourself to an ice rink! Keep your head up, your knees bent and don't be afraid to try something a little out of your comfort zone.
 

~ fashion ~


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{ash}

Whoever decided that no one should wear white after Labor Day obviously didn't own this coat. (Of course, this may mean nothing. Isn't that rule no longer in effect?)

I've collected a few winter coats over the years, but this cream-colored number is one of my favorites. There is something very retro about it -- and you know how the EI girls love classic fashion (remember this and this?).

This coat can be worn with most outfits but is especially adorable with skirts, tights, and booties. I adore how it hits high on my thigh and that it's cut to hug my waist. Very feminine -- and I have no complaints about any article of winter clothing that makes me feel sexy while still keeping me warm.
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~ fashion ~


snowboots
{angie}
Last winter when I picked these Report boots out (errr...instructed my husband to buy them for me for Christmas) I wanted them to replace a pair of boots I had worn out that looked like the style on the far right. Little did I know when I opened the box they can be worn four different ways! That means I can wear them all the time without looking like I wear the same boots. Okay, I do change them occasionally in the winter. But did I mention how comfortably they are? It's like snuggling my feet in warm fuzzy slippers all day long. Any girl that lives in a true winter city can't realistically go prancing around in some of these fashion boots. If you're walking more than just out of the car and into a restaurant your boots need to have great traction in the snow. I may be a figure skater, but you can bet many of my other boots have me slipping and sliding on the icy walks (even if they do look fabulous). These are the perfect balance between fashion and function.
 

~ fashion ~


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{ash}

For my birthday last January, my very fashionable grandma gave me these darling red plaid earmuffs. I simply adore them! They're bright, fun, and perfect for a chilly winter day. (And they're so darn preppy -- ha ha.) Don't they make you think of ice skating and hot cocoa? Oh, and peacoats. ;)

I found the earmuffs in a drawer the other day while looking for Halloween costume accessories. They totally perked me up. If it's going to get cold, at least I can make the best of it and have fun with adorable cold weather accessories. 

{Author's note: As you've noticed, today's post contains a dorky self portrait for those who want to see the earmuffs on. Please excuse the post-work ponytail.}

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~ fashion ~


Vera Bradley apron
fashion apron
{angie}
When you're a foodie like Ash and I are here at Everyday Inspirations, you always want to feel cute while you're cooking. That means wearing the cute outfit of the day and protecting it with a super cute apron--like this black and white floral apron by Vera Bradley. Since last week was my birthday my cute grandma sent me this adorable apron that came in a matching recipe box. I love the look of mixed patterns, and no one does that quite like Vera Bradley. If wasn't cute enough already, it even has a cute layer of ruffles accenting the top. Now after warming up my appetite with today's #fnichat I can take on the kitchen in style. Chocolate-covered bacon anyone?

 

~ fashion ~


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{ash}

They're flirty, sweet, and fun. They work when I'm dressed up and dressed down. I bought them in college for under $20 and still wear them at least once a week.

I love that some of my favorite things are super simple and versatile. Like a classic LBD, these earrings are here to stay. They're perfect for me.

Tell us about your favorite accessory.
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