Category Archives: Life in General

DIY: Paper Mache Mannequin

I bought this fashion form awhile back because I thought it would be a useful photography prop to use when I’m styling. And for only $6.95, the torso would be; but I sort of hate the way the semitransparent plastic neck & décolletage appears in photos. (Note: this is the stock photo from the website which appears to be white. To get actual idea of the appearance look at my other images)

Store Suppy Fashion Form

Yes, a strong opinion, but it really did bother me! And you know when something bugs you you can never get past it. I just thought the foggy finish  killed the aesthetic of the clothes hanging from it. I tried my best to alter the appearance of the prop in Photoshop – I tried making it disappear, blending it in, changing the color of it…but everything I did just ended up looking dumb.

Frosted Fashion Form

So for the last few months the torso has just been hanging out (literally) behind my door. Until this past weekend, when all of the sudden it donned on me – why don’t I just give my mannequin a makeover? Duhhh!

My first thought was to cover the tacky plastic with white lace, that way my mannequin would at least be white and not a murky in between color. I liked the idea of my mannequin having a “vintagy vibe” with a textured effect. I knew it would probably pose a little bit of a problem when photographing white garments on it – with little color variation between the garment and the lace making it difficult to differentiate. But I figured that was a minor tradeoff for having an overall more visually pleasing fashion form.

But then, when I got down my tote of random textiles from my closet (1 of 5 total) I came across a couple packages of sewing patterns. Perfect! Even better than my original plan! The paper would be much easier than the fabric to adhere. And the pigment of the tissue paper looked well – like tissue. The flesh-colored flimsy paper similar to skin tone would contrast with both black & white garments.

So I had a DIY day and went to work paper macheing my mannequin. (Note: not the real paper mache process, but my rendition of it)

What You Need:

– The object you want to cover
– What you’re going to cover it with (fabric, decorative paper)
– Spray Adhesive
– Scissors

DIY Paper Mache Mannequin Start

What to Do:

1. First I put down something to protect the floor. I learned my lesson the last time I did a similar project involving spray adhesive. It felt like I scrubbed the sticky residue off my floor for for-ev-er – and I swear I still feel it in some spots.

2. Then I cut the patterns into pieces (doesn’t have to be perfect because they all end up blending together in the end. I made sure to get a variety of the different design details & cutting lines on the sections.

DIY Paper Mache Mannequin Step 2

3. After that I simply sprayed my mannequin with the aerosol adhesive and stuck on the slips of paper.

DIY Paper Mache Mannequin Step 3

DIY Paper Mache Mannequin (1)

Wah-lah! It’s as easy as that!

DIY Paper Mache Manequin Finished

Well……..I did put a little thought into it. I had to make sure all of the words written on the pattern paper were facing in the right direction. Call it my sharp eye for the fine details…..or perfectionism – but it would’ve bothered me if the writing would’ve been backwards. I love the way my mannequin looks now! It turned out just as I had envisioned – actually, even better! (than the first plan)

Before After Styling Pic

And, now that my plastic person has a bit more personality, I thought it only seemed appropriate that she should have a name. Everyone, meet Skipper! :)

What do you think of the makeover I did on my mannequin? Do you think it made an impact on its appearance? Or do you think I’m crazy cuz you can’t really recognize the difference?

Advertisements

New Year, New Endeavor

I hope you all had a Happy Holiday and rang in the New Year safe & sound! As we begin a brand new year, I thought it seemed fitting for me to share with all of you, the new business endeavor I’ve recently begun :)

And so, it is with my great pleasure, to introduce to you…………………………………………drum roll please…………………………………………….

underground + BOUND Handmade Bohemian Jewelry on Etsy

underground + BOUND is an eclectic collection of hand-made jewelry inspired by Mother Earth and the unique rock formations created naturally at her core. Bound together by leather, stones & bones, minerals & metals, feathers & found objects are cleverly combined to create this artsy assortment of accessories that is mystical, meaningful, & undoubtedly unmistakable!

handmade bohemian jewelry

Each piece in this diverse collection of one-of-a-kind designs is a unique representation of the earth, its abundant offerings, and the creatures that inhabit it. Minerals & crystals magically created when all of the necessary conditions combine in a particular way, at a particular time. Rocks that make-up Earth’s crust; those that comprise our mountain ranges & canyons, that were once liquid molten lava that have cooled & compressed over millions of years. Fossils & bones from plant particles & animal life; the trace evidence preserving the remains of what once roamed & flourished from the land, long before our time.

Just as no two stones are the same, each design is distinctive in its very own way. Completely hand-crafted; hand-cut premium hides are tied together to secure stones & bones; while metals & other off-beat materials add an eclectic touch to these traditionally boho-inspired baubles.

Paying homage to Mother Earth, native cultures, and the unconventional ethos of nomadic lifestyle; underground + BOUND boasts earth elements, unlikely pairings, tribal adornments, folkloric patterns, & intricate designs. u + B accessories are meant to emulate the natural beauty & great spirits of the materials they are made of and accentuate the beauty & spirit of those who wear them. They are meant to be adorned, admired & appreciated.

underground + BOUND embodies the bohemian fundamentals of fashion; encouraging the importance of individuality – inspiring one to embrace their own personality and express it through the unique way they dress. Whether you prefer the bold necklaces made of bone or the more subtle studded pieces, the not-so-average knotted necklaces or the styles made with stones, u + B offers something for every brazen bohemian, prairie princess, free-spirited fashionista, hippy-at-heart, & gypsy soul.

Highlighting the exquisiteness of Earth’s bounty and the spirit of the beings that dwell upon her, underground + BOUND is a manifestation of the precision, perfection, and creative beauty that’s been around since the very beginning of time.

handmade bohemian jewelry

I sort of started underground + BOUND on a whim. Contagiously creative & rather crafty, I began making a couple pieces of jewelry for my personal collection after I couldn’t seem to find exactly what I was looking for in any retail stores. I never originally intended for it to be more than just a pleasurable pastime, but after countless compliments I received while wearing my creations & requests from friends, family & complete strangers for items of their own, I decided to turn the leisure activity I loved into a legitimate business.

Thus, underground + BOUND was born – my artistic imagination coming to life.

Similar to watching a circus act, creating my collection has been both terrifying & exciting at the same time. The balancing act of building a new business while juggling my normal day-to-day responsibilities has been challenging at times; but seeing it all come together and introducing my work for the first time has been met with equal feelings of relief & exhilaration!

Always curious, passionate & in-motion, not a minute goes by that I’m not brainstorming something for the business. From conception to distribution, I relish in the entire creative process that goes into making each & every piece in my collection. From initiating a design in my mind to picking out the perfect materials to make it, the many hours spent cutting leather, manipulating metals, intricately knotting, stitching stones & bones – seeing my pieces evolve from what was once just a drawing on paper to a product ready for someone to purchase is such a satisfying feeling. I pride myself in offering unique designs made of quality materials & strive to create authentic connections with my customers. Whether it’s creating compelling marketing materials or collaborating with customers on custom pieces, shipping merchandise or sharing inspirational photos on social media, I truly enjoy being a one-woman operation.

Click on the photos below to see these item, and others, listed on Etsy!

handmade black fringe brass studded bull boho necklaceAntique Brass Studded Bull Skull Black Genuine Deerskin Leather Fringe Statement Necklace

clear quartz crystal black leather open collar necklaceClear Quartz Crystal Genuine Deerskin Black Leather Wrapped Open Collar Necklace

Black Deerskin Leather Studded Fringe NecklaceBlack Genuine Deerskin Leather Hand-Cut Fringe Antique Brass Studded Statement Necklace

Black Leather Macrame & Deer Antler Fringe NecklaceGenuine Deer Antler Black Leather Diamond Macramé Statement Fringe Necklace/Wall Hanging

Agate Stone & Cognac Leather Braided Tassel NecklaceGenuine Buckskin & Saddle Brown Deerskin Leather Natural Banded Agate Stone Braided Lariat Tassel Necklace

If you like what you see, be sure to stay connected with my brand new brand via the social media links below…
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Underground-Bound/1454969688115232
Instagram: undergroundandbound
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/undrgroundbound/

And as always, I love feedback, so leave a comment & let me know what you think of my designs!

New Year Quote

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

I know I cannot wait to see what this New Year brings for me & my new business. May your coming year be filled with health, happiness, magic & lots of new dreams!!!

Alcohol-Inspired Attire: My Delirium Tremens Top

I often nickname things in my wardrobe if they remind me of certain something. Here are a couple favorites from my closet…

Nicknamed ClothingMy most recent pet name I made up is for this piece…


I call this my ‘Delirium Tremens’ top. No – not because I was drunk when I bought it (which, for the record, I wasn’t!) but because of the tiny purple elephant print all over it. I bought the gauzy button-down blouse on sale at Anthropologie awhile back & it’s been one of my favorites ever since!

Voted “Best Beer in the World” back in 2008, Delirium Tremens is a Belgium golden ale produced by Brouwerij Huyghe in Meile, Belgium. With an above average 8.5% ABV, one beer connoisseur describes the classic strong ale as having a “light, fruity sweetness and tangy tart notes followed by a dry slightly bitter finish.”delirium-bottle1-440x570The beer’s name originates from the medical condition delirium tremors, or “the DT’s” indicating a violent sickness induced by alcohol withdrawal. Sufferers of “the trembling madness” are thought to hallucinate pink elephants, cats, dogs & snakes. The imaginary pink elephants have become widely known as Delirium Tremen’s unmistakable logo on the brews unique packaging, a bottle painted to resemble Cologne ceramics.

delirium

Similar to the logo, my distinctive way of dressing can sometimes come across as unmistakable & unique…and with my love of mixing prints, creatively combining colors & layering on tons of texture, I admit, I may look like I’ve lost my mind from time to time. But I swear I haven’t (at least not yet!) Check out some of the different ways I dressed my ‘Delirium Tremens’ top….

Here I paired my elephants with basic black leggings, a southwestern-print scarf, riding boots, and my forest green fringe bag.

Elephant Blouse, Black Leggings, Southwestern Scarf Purple Elephant Top, Southwestern Scarf, Riding BootsOne has to be carefully when wearing so many statement pieces all at the same time, otherwise the outfit becomes overwhelming. But in this instance, instead of competing with one another, I think the standout pieces combine to create an eclectic ensemble.

Or, maybe I am a bit delusional?!

Here I paired my ethnic-inspired elephant top with elegant oriental damask-print indigo & coral cords.

elephant top, damask cords
I can’t really begin to explain what I was thinking when I these two pieces together. For some reason, I just thought the juxtaposing prints worked well with each other – something about the contrasting style vibes within the clothing compliments the quirky combo.

I can however, tell you my thought process behind creating this stylish ensemble…Here I tucked my purple elephant top into a pair of olive high-waisted wool shorts. I layered my brown fur vest on top for some added texture and accessorized the look with a simple orange marble-stone pendant necklace.

Elephant Blouse, Olive Shorts, Fur Vest

Purple Elephant Top, Fur Vest, Olive Wool ShortsSo, what was I thinking???…

This outfit is based off one of the classic harmonious color schemes – a triad color harmony. A triad color arrangement is when you incorporate three colors that are equally spaced from each other on the 12-hue color wheel. Example: violet, orange & green.

Complementary Color Combo

See……………………I haven’t lost my mind :)

Keeping along the lines of creative color combos, here I layered the purple elephants underneath my rust-colored velvet blazer from Free People. There’s just something about purple & red together that always catches my eye.

IMG_3894

elephant top, velvet blazerI may be going out on a limb with this one…pairing the purple elephants with a red & black classic plaid pencil skirt.

Elephant Blouse & Plaid Pencil Skirt Elephant Top, plaid pencil skirtIt has similar styling elements from the ensembles above (opposing prints = ethnic/traditional and pairing purple & red together). I’m not 100% sold on the outfit; but hey, playing around is part of the fun when it comes to styling!

Evolving your personal sense of style is all about experimenting when putting outfits together. You don’t always have to wear them outside the house, but you’d be surprised with what you come up once you start working with your wardrobe. Crack open a bottle of Delirium while you’re playing dress up & you’re destined to create an unmistakable look just like the logo!

What do you think? Am I hallucinating when thinking these looks actually look good?

Disclaimer: This post does not condone the consumption of alcohol while deciding what you’re going to wear.

Bundling Up in my Big Beige Scarf to Brave the Cold

I hope you managed to warm yesterday wherever you are!!! The Midwest has turned into a frozen tundra & it is not pleasant! The city of Chicago pretty much shut down yesterday with the record-setting temperatures falling down to -16°…with wind chills in the -50’s. The bone-chilling sub-zero temps made venturing outside extremely dangerous; so as advised, I worked from home yesterday…along with many others, I’m sure! I must say – it was rather convenient taking my conference call while cozied up under blankets on my couch, with the heat cranked up & a cup of hot cocoa in my hand!

I started to get a little antcy by mid-afternoon, so I decided to see for myself just how cold it was outside. I made it as far as the corner store & thought “forget this!” Even with my Sorel’s, stallion sweater, quilted coat, big beige scarf, knit hat & mis-matched mitts I didn’t make it more than a block! (I have a tendency to loose gloves leaving me with a bunch of onesies. But when it’s this cold, who cares if you coordinate…I just went with the warmest ones!)

 Bundled Up

The newest addition in my cold-weather collection that’s keeping me warm this winter is my big beige scarf I got from Santa…

 IMG_3496

Actually, I sent this Pinterest picture & some measurements to my mom a couple months ago to see if she could crochet a clone of it.

Pinspiration - Beige Scarf

She passed the project along; and with 5 skeins of yarn, 1 talented grandma made me this stunning 8 ft x 1½ ft scarf…it only took her 12 hours! The neutral color, gigantic size, fringe trim, even down to the cable-detailing down the center pockets, she did a phenomenal job duplicating this design! Don’t you think?!

 Bundle Up to Brave the Cold

Here I am all bundled up before I went out – I look just like the lady in the photo… + a few more layers!! I’m obsessed with my new scarf – its almost like I leave the house with an afghan wrapped around me :) It also kept me warm while I was working outside on New Year’s Eve.  Not exactly how I expected to spend my night (would’ve went with snow pants instead of a dress had I known)…but at least I was in good company.

 NYE Pic

With today’s temp only climbing up to a high of 5° today the outlook is still a bit bleak. I think I’ll hibernate at home again – I’d rather come down with a case of cabin fever then run the risk of getting frostbite. :)

Have a good day everyone…& stay warm out there!

A Classic Christmas Color Combo

Christmas time comes once a year; during the holiday season we welcome Santa Clause & snowmen into society, sing Christmas carols, snack on Christmas cookies, shop for gifts to show our gratitude, and spend time with loved ones surrounded in a sea of red & green.

Now that Christmas has come & gone, some scrooges are ready to take down the Christmas lights and bring the artificial tree back up to the attic. But just when you think you’ve seen enough red & green, I put together this outfit incorporating the classic Christmas colors.

Burgundy Bottoms, Mint Top, Fur Vest

There are certain colors that naturally work well with each other and general themes that help harmonize hues. The underlying theme behind this creative color combo is the ‘Split Complementary’ color scheme – using any color with the two colors on each side of its complement.

 Split Complementary-1

I used tints & tones of the two colors to complete this look – the less literal interpretation of the true hues probably makes it more tolerable to wear. My mint green sheer button-down shirt is a tint (base color with a bit of white added) of green while my burgundy bottoms are a shade (color plus black) of red. I went light on accessories and completed the color trio with my orange marble-stone cocktail ring.

To Winterize this season-spanning the look, I layered my white & grey fur vest from Free People on top, and threw on my grey tall leather Steve Madden boots to coordinate.

Burgundy Bottoms, Mint Top, Fur Vest

IMG_3091

What do you think? Would you wear this? Or are you sick of seeing red & green for the time being?